Walmart Won’t Sell Guns & Ammunitions To People Under 21 Anymore. Here’s Why That’s Huge

Ad failed to load

The prominent chain mega-retailer Walmart will no longer sell guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21, as it was announced on Wednesday. Walmart, which boasts more than 4,500 locations throughout the United States, is one of the biggest gun-sellers in the United States, making this a wide-ranging and potentially impactful decision.

The store will also stop selling toy or airsoft guns that are designed to look like assault rifle-style firearms. In a statement on Wednesday, the company detailed why it decided to make this move now, in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Walmart also assured its customers, however, that they would continue to cater to people who wanted to buy guns.

"In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change," the statement said.

Ad failed to load

"We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys," the statement continued. "Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way."

Walmart's decision came the same day that Dick's Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell assault rifle-style weapons. Dick's also announced that they would no longer sell expanded-capacity magazines to allow people to fire an increased amount of bullets per reload, and committed to not selling so-called "bump stocks" which allow semiautomatic rifles to approach a fully automatic rate of fire.

Ad failed to load

To be clear, Dick's Sporting Goods said in a statement that it had never sold bump stocks to begin with, but the company has now made it explicit that it will not do so in the future.

In short, in a matter of hours, two retailers have announced voluntary changes to their policies surrounding gun sales. It's no secret why politicians, public institutions and brands alike are now publicly focusing on guns; the Parkland shooting, which left 17 people dead (14 of them students), has cast a long shadow in the national consciousness. That's in large part thanks to many of the survivors of the shooting, high school students who've been vocally participating in activism since the attack on Stoneman Douglas.

In the weeks following the shooting, the high-profile advocacy by some of the school's students has kept matters of gun violence and gun reform squarely in the national conversation. They've proven to be such effective advocates so far that some pro-gun conservatives have begun criticizing and scrutinizing their pro-gun control arguments.

Ad failed to load

In short, the political dialogue of the moment has forced some companies to reassess how they handle selling guns or ammunition, or ever what organizations they associated with. For example, earlier this week Delta Air Lines and Hertz both halted promotions they previously offered to members of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The changes undertaken by Walmart on Wednesday should have a much farther-reaching effect than simply pulling discounts for NRA members, however. This is an example of a major gun seller ― in fact, reportedly the biggest one in the entire country ― voluntarily changing its policies to make it tougher to buy a gun, in this case for people in their late teens.

Ad failed to load

It remains to be seen whether any other major gun sellers take notice, or follow Walmart's suit, or begin feeling similar pressures. But these issues being in the spotlight is clearly resulting in companies making some major changes.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

What No One Tells You About Breaking Up With Your Mother

The thing about the last time you talk to your mother is that you don’t know it when it’s happening. Or, at least, I didn’t. Nothing about the last phone call I had with my mother, in December 2014, stands out as a point of no return. Sure, we fought…
By Gabrielle Moss

I Tried Venus' New Facial Hair Removal Device & Will Never Get My Upper Lip Area Waxed Again

I remember the first time I realized I was growing hair above my upper lip. It was when a very rude seventh grader decided to point it out in front of my friends and me during our lunch break. He wasn't wrong — just mean — and ever since then, I've b…
By Sara Tan

7 Ways To Celebrate Your 30th Birthday That Are Feminist AF

Turning 30 is a pretty major milestone; it's one of those birthdays where large parties, floods of presents and many bouquets from besotted admirers seem to be in order. And as a woman and a feminist, I'm here to offer some additional 30th birthday i…
By JR Thorpe

Here’s Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In April

As the virtual shelf life for non-original Netflix programs grows shorter and shorter, fans of the streaming service are bidding woeful goodbyes to their favorite titles left and right. So, for those who need some time to prepare, here's everything l…
By Angelica Florio

Here Are The Exact Steps To Take If You Want To Travel All The Time & Work Remotely

When I first decided I wanted to become a digital nomad — someone who travels non-stop while working remotely — I was terrified and unsure if I would actually go through with it. I worried my work would suffer from all the travel and time zone change…
By Suzannah Weiss

11 Ways To Stay Positive When Dating Feels Like The Worst, According To Matchmakers

With every first date that leads to nowhere or every non-relationship that ends up being a waste of your time, finding love can seem far from possible. It can also be pretty rough on your self-esteem if you continually put a lot of effort into dating…
By Kristine Fellizar

Is Amazon's Alexa Making Our Relationships Weird?

Earlier this year, I started dating a guy who was in a very codependent relationship with Alexa. Alexa helped this guy (I'll call him "Paul") decide where to eat dinner and reminded him to work out. Alexa handled his to-do lists, restocked his toile…
By Sophie Saint Thomas

You Can Get Too Faced Mascara & Tarte Lipstick For HALF OFF At Ulta This Month

It's finally here! Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale runs from now through Saturday, April 7 and is the retailer's epic "event" of the year. The promotion features "Beauty Steals," which means 50 percent off specific products for a single day. It also in…
By Amy Sciarretto

7 Things My 20s Taught Me About Toxic Relationships

I'll be turning 30 in less than a week, and while I'm trying to get all the habits of my twenties out of the way ASAP, I'm also reflecting on the what I learned over the past decade. And top of the list is the lessons I learned about toxic relationsh…
By JR Thorpe

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck