In the wake of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, mega-retailer Walmart has sold out of its stock of assault rifles in five states, according to Bloomberg News.
The company said Wednesday it had no plans to stop selling semi-automatic assault rifles like the Bushmaster .223, which was used by the shooter to slaughter 20 school children on Friday.
Bloomberg noted that Pennsylvania, Kansas and Alabama were among the states where Walmart has sold out. The big box retailer reportedly took a photo and description of the Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3, made by Bushmaster, off its website following the massacre but continued to sell the assault weapon in its stores.
The company has, by some accounts, an odd history of selectively banning items due to public outcry.
Walmart has banned from its stores albums by the likes of Green Day, The Goo Goo Dolls and Marilyn Manson, George Carlin’s book “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?” and Jon Stewart’s “America: The Book,” the “Plan B” emergency contraception pill and even a documentary about the war in Iraq. It also refuses to sell some rap albums unless they come pre-censored by the record label, and racy but not-quite-pornographic men’s magazines like “FHM” and “Maxim” are also out of the question.
Other retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods have taken assault rifles off the shelves in response to the massacre. The company told authorities it refused to sell a similar weapon to the Sandy Hook shooter days before the attack due to a two-week waiting period law in the state.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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