Walmart will restock its gun and ammunition displays across thousands of U.S. stores, reversing a decision revealed earlier this week to remove them from public viewing.
“After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution,” Walmart said in a new statement Friday, reports The Wall Street Journal. “As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”
While Walmart did not explicitly say the election was the reason for the original decision, The Wall Street Journal first reported the change with less than a week to go before the election. The retailer reportedly told store managers the change was “due to the current unrest in isolated areas of the country and out of an abundance of caution.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the retailer previously said that the guns and ammunition displays would stay “out of view” for an unspecified period of time, but would still be available for purchase by customers upon request.
Walmart made its original decision after riots broke out in Philadelphia following the shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a black man who was killed by police on Monday after he allegedly threatened officers with a knife.
Videos from the subsequent riots show a Walmart in Philadelphia getting ransacked, and one of the videos was captured by Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for the Blaze, who said he was himself assaulted while reporting from inside the store. (The beginning of the alleged confrontation was captured by Shelby Talcott, a Daily Caller reporter).
Tonight, I was jumped by BLM rioters while covering the civil unrest in Philadelphia
Reporter @ShelbyTalcott captured the moment the looters jumped me inside of a 5-Below
They tried to rob me as well but I was able to get away without losing my phone
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) October 28, 2020
Businesses in other cities, however, appear to be taking measures more explicitly tied to the upcoming presidential election, and any unrest that may follow.
Over in New York City, the flagship Macy’s location on 34th Street has started boarding up its windows to prepare for presidential election unrest, reports New York Daily News.
“They keep saying if Trump wins they’re going to riot and destroy Manhattan, so everybody’s boarding up,” a worker putting up plywood told the news agency.
NBC-5 Chicago reports that Macy’s has also boarded up windows on its State Street location. A Macy’s spokesperson told the news agency that some of its stores were taking “additional security measures” at some stores “out of an abundance of caution.”
Over in Los Angeles, California, police announced that Rodeo Drive, an iconic street with luxury boutiques, would be shut down on election day.
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