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In Reversal, Walmart Puts Guns Back On Display

Walmart is returning guns and ammunition back to its shelves after removing them from display as a safety precaution, citing this week's "isolated civil unrest."

The retailer had instructed its stores Wednesday to take firearms out of view to a secure location in the back, to be sold upon request. The move happened following unrest in Philadelphia after the police fatally shot a Black man on Monday.

Walmart earlier did not specify how long it would keep weapons off the sales floors, prompting widespread speculation the retailer was also heeding possible fallout from next week's election.

Now the company says the action was prompted by damage this week to some of its stores, and that it's ready to restore guns and ammunition to their displays.

"As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today," Walmart said in a statement Friday.

The company sells firearms in about half of its 4,700 stores in the United States. It also temporarily took down firearm displays earlier this year when several Walmart stores were damaged during a nationwide wave of civil unrest after George Floyd, another Black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alina Selyukh is a business correspondent at NPR, where she follows the path of the retail and tech industries, tracking how America's biggest companies are influencing the way we spend our time, money, and energy.