Perceptive Comment On Walmart Ammo Decision

If anyone knows the small firearms retailer, it would be Brownells. They have worked with gunsmiths since time immemorial. Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wires had an editorial today on the implications of the Walmart decision which is well worth a read.

In the editorial, he quoted Pete Brownell regarding Walmart’s move.

“It’s really a time of opportunity for small retailers,” Pete Brownell of the eponymous Brownells told me yesterday, “the core of our industry, small retailers are going to have an opportunity to get back some of the business lost by a retailer that focuses on squeezing the margins, not selling based on knowledge, experience and affinity.”

“To me,” he says, “it’s actually good news, although it’s never all good news when any company starts to give in to social pressure.”

He’s right on both points. Granted, some consumers will lose the ability to hit a Walmart for a box of rifle shells, diapers, orange juice and sodas. But they’ll now have a valid reason to go back to the stores where the shelves and displays are full of products they actually enjoy.

Brownell is correct. This is an opportunity for the Mom and Pop gun stores. That is, if they play it right. By right, I mean have deals on bulk ammo and reasonable prices on the rest.

Might I Make A Suggestion

If you have been following Facebook, Twitter, or the news today, you know that Walmart’s CEO just announced changes in their firearms policy. They will no longer carry handgun ammo. Also included in the change was “short-barrel rifle ammunition”. Finally, they will be stopping handgun sales in Alaska.

From Walmart CEO Doug McMillon’s memo:

Today, we’re sharing the decisions we’ve made that go further: After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons; We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.

Walmart currently has a 20% market share of the civilian ammunition market. McMillon wants to get it down to between 6% and 9%.

If McMillon had stopped there or just made the change without a big announcement, it would have been one thing. However, McMillon decided to go “full corporate virtue signaling”.

Finally, we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness. We must also do more, as a country, to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior. Today, I’m sending letters to the White House and the Congressional leadership that call for action on these common sense measures. As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades. We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act. Given our decades of experience selling firearms, we are also offering to serve as a resource in the national debate on responsible gun sales.

McMillon then alludes to the late Sam Walton and his love for hunting in an appeal to the Fudds. McMillon then says his family raised bird dogs when he was growing up and, of course, the obligatory “I’m a gun owner myself .”

Doug McMillon can protest all he wants but he is just another Ed Stack. He wants to hang out with what he perceives to be the cool kids (who really aren’t that cool).

I am an affiliate of Lucky Gunner. They carry good handgun ammo. They carry good 5.56×45 and .223 ammo. They have good prices. They provide research on handgun ammo penetration. Most importantly, they stood up when it counted after being sued by the Brady Campaign. They won and dedicated a good part of their winnings to backing Second Amendment organizations.

Look at the bottom of my blog on the left side. There is a link to If you buy through that link, I earn a commission. Making the move to WordPress and a dedicated domain was not free. Commissions earned will go to support the costs of this blog. Commissions over and above the blog costs are donated to Second Amendment organizations.

And Now You Know The Rest Of The Story

The late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey used to have a feature called, “The Rest of the Story”. He’d end the feature with the tagline, “And now you know the rest of the story.” I saw the tweet below from Shannon Watts of Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors yesterday. Just like Al Sharpton demands “Justice!”, Shannon demands “Gunsense!”.

This is not just some Walmart store. This is my Walmart store. The one that is a five minute or less drive from my house. The one at which I buy ammo if it is in stock. In other words, I know the store and I know the gun counter. Both ammo and firearms are kept in a locked case and only certain employees have the key.

The story as reported involved the theft of an AR-15 and 150 rounds of ammunition from the locked case on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The thief purportedly shoved the rifle down his pants and just walked out.

And now for the rest of the story.

Donald Alan Skelton, 33, was arrested on Thursday as he went back to the same Walmart. According to records from the NC Department of Public Safety, Skelton was released from prison in February. His criminal record goes back to at least 2008 and includes convictions for felony breaking and entering and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

For this theft, Skelton was charged with larceny of a firearm, misdemeanor larceny, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is being held in the Buncombe County Detention Center under an $11,000 bond.

Watts got 28 retweets and 7 favorites from this tweet. How the theft of a firearm by a convicted felon relates to “gunsense” and the call for universal background checks is beyond me.

The Things You Can Get At Wally World

You can get darn near anything at your local Walmart including, it seems, a 10-point buck.

That was the case at the Burrell Township, Pennsylvania store back in November on the opening day of deer season. Arcangelo Bianco Jr. had just pulled into Walmart when the 10-point buck came around the corner of the building. Not one to let an opportunity like this go to waste, Mr. Bianco hopped out of his truck and started firing at it with his pistol. And there begins his troubles.

From the Indiana (PA) Gazette:

Which is why Arcangelo Bianco Jr., 40, finds himself in trouble with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

According to the commission, Bianco fired several rounds at a hapless white-tailed deer from within the Burrell Township store’s parking lot and bagged the animal on the other side of Old William Penn Highway (Old Route 22) one afternoon last November.

The most serious of the charges he faces is a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. He also was slapped with five summary offenses, all hunting law violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game.

“Obviously, we can’t have someone running through a Walmart parking lot shooting at a deer,” said Jack Lucas, the wildlife conservation officer who investigated the incident.

After killing the deer, Mr. Bianco loaded it up in his truck and took it to the local meat processor to be butchered. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to keep it as it was seized as evidence in the case. Officer Lucas notes that the deer and surveillance footage from the Walmart security cameras will be used as evidence in court. He also said that the buck that Mr. Bianco shot was probably the best he’d seen in the last two years in Indiana County.

I guess the moral of the story is that just because you can get something at Walmart doesn’t mean you should.

UPDATE: CBS Pittsburgh is also covering the story and they have video of the Walmart. I like the comments of the District Attorney who says that they are a big hunting community and that people who are legitimate hunters are upset about the incident. Mr. Bianco is also charged with violations of game laws as they carry stiffer penalties. He faces his first hearing on May 1st.

Walmart And Guns

SayUncle had a post up yesterday evening about the meeting that representatives from Walmart will be having with Vice-President Joe Biden and his “gun violence” (sic) task force. He posted a reader suggestion to call Walmart’s corporate office. I am reposting it below.

Ok, everybody, don’t call stores, call corporate. Here’s the number: (479)273-4000

That gets you the home office. Tell them you want to express an opinion and they’ll immediately transfer you to another line where you will talk to a real person who will take your comment and record the call.

They are getting calls going both ways right now. They said that they have made not decisions going forward except to hear what Biden’s group says and then weigh that with the comments from their customers.

So start calling. Have your family and friends call. Overwhelm their switchboard with calls and we may keep them on our side.

SayUncle said to let them know that if they cave, you and your family will no longer shop there and that you’ll urge all your friends to do the same. I agree fullheartedly.

The one thing big business understands is money and sales. Walmart had dropped the gun department in many stores but brought it back due to the demand. The only reason that they started selling AR-15s in the first place was due to consumer demand.

As of June 2012, there were 67,369 Federal Firearms Licensees in the United States. This does not include those with a Curios and Relics FFL. Out of those 67,369 FFLs, 1,823 were held by the various Walmart stores around the country. This is about 2.7% of all FFLs. My point is that you have plenty of other options when it comes to purchasing guns and ammo. While Walmart is convenient, they are not the be all and end all in the gun market.

Walmart does not live and die by your gun and ammo purchases but they do live and die by your other purchases. If 90 million American gun owners suddenly said we aren’t going to do business with you anymore, they would be hurting. That is what they need to understand.