Mega-retailer Walmart said Wednesday that it is limiting sales of firearm ammunition to three boxes per customer per day, explaining that it is unable to keep up with surging demand.

"In order to take care of as many customers as possible, starting Thursday, Jan. 24, all ammunition sales were limited to three boxes per customer, per day as supply is limited at this time," a spokesperson told Reuters.

The nation's largest gun seller has faced criticism for refusing to stop selling semi-automatic assault rifles following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, where a disturbed young man killed 27 people and then himself, including 20 children, with a Bushmaster AR-15.

The company was sold out of semi-automatic assault rifles in five states immediately following the Newtown massacre in December, reports said. Although it refused to stop selling the guns, it did remove a photo of a Bushmaster M4A3 from its website.

Walmart's chief compliance officer has since appeared before cameras with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, saying they will store video of gun sales and track firearms used in crimes to enable refusal of sale if the buyer of such a weapon ever returns for another. The retailer also said it would tighten up background checks for employees who handle the firearms inventory and oversee sales.

Just over a month after the Newtown massacre a Walmart store was targeted by a 15-year-old New Mexico boy who killed his parents and three siblings with an AR-15, among other smaller arms he took from his father on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The boy, Nehemiah Griego, later told police that he planned to drive to a local Walmart and shoot random people until law enforcement stopped him.

The company also restricts the sales of things like men's magazines, birth control pills, rap albums with vulgar language and certain politically-charged books and films.


Photo: Flickr user lizstless, creative commons licensed.