Q&A: How Walmart plans on handling customers who choose to openly carry guns in stores

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - Walmart recently announced that customers were asked not to openly carry firearms in its stores.

The company made the request while acknowledging that, in some states, open carry is legal.

KPRC 2 asked Walmart how it planned on handling customers who choose to ignore the company's request. Here's what it said.

Q: Why are you "asking" customers to not open carry in your stores and not putting up signs prohibiting guns on the premises?

A: We recognize states have different forms of open carry laws, so our policy requests customers not open carry in stores. As it relates to signage, different states and local jurisdictions have their own requirements related to signage/notice so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to notice.

Q: What happens to customers who choose to ignore your request and continue to legally open carry their firearms into Walmart or Sam’s Club stores?

A: We understand there are law-abiding citizens that openly carry firearms in states where is legal to do so. We will treat them with respect, and we will have a very nonconfrontational approach. Our store management teams will receive guidance on how to address these situations and will determine if the circumstances require contacting law enforcement.

Our hope is that everyone understands the circumstances that led to this new policy and respect the concerns of their fellow shoppers and our associates.

Walmart has faced pressure to stop selling guns after 22 people were shot and killed inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.

Last year, after a shooter in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people, Walmart raised the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21.

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