Within 24 hours of DICK’s Sporting Goods ending assault-style rifle sales at its 35 Field & Stream stores in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. shooting, Walmart and Kroger joined the retailer in raising their gun-buying age limit to 21.
Kroger doesn’t sell firearms, but its subsidiary supermarket chain Fred Meyer currently sells them at 43 Fred Meyer locations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State.
Walmart had stopped selling assault-style rifles in its U.S. stores in August 2015, but the company attributed the decision to lower consumer demand for the weapons rather than any political stance. The retailer still sells rifles, shotguns and ammunition in thousands of stores, but does not sell handguns except in Alaska.
Kroger stopped selling assault-style rifles at Fred Meyer stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho several years ago, and decided to no longer sell those style of guns or special orders for them in Alaska. Fred Meyer stores currently sell shotguns, .22 caliber rifles, bolt action hunting rifles and other rifles. Like Walmart, Kroger is reducing space devoted to firearms in these stores in response to softer demand and changing customer preference.
In 2016, a shareholder group asked Kroger to stop selling semiautomatic weapons in Fred Meyer stores. Kroger challenged the resolution, and federal regulators sided with the retailer, noting that investor requests generally can’t govern what a company sells.
Retailers that still sell AR-15 models and similar assault-style weapons include Bass Pro Shops, which also owns the Cabela’s outdoors chain, and Academy Sports and Outdoors.Approximately 12% of sales of this type of gun take place at chain retailers, according to data compiled by Southwick Associates.
Walmart also is removing items from its web site resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys. The retailer also will monitor third-party sellers on its marketplace over the issue.