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In response to mass shootings, Walmart pulls violent video game signage from U.S. stores; will still sell guns


A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso,Texas, on Aug. 3, 2019. Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters / File
A police officer stands next to a police cordon after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso,Texas, on Aug. 3, 2019. Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters / File

Walmart Inc said on Friday it has asked employees at its stores across the United States to take down signs and playable demos of violent video games but has made no changes to its policy on selling firearms.

The retailer said it has taken the action following the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio in the past week, which left 31 people dead.

In an internal memo, the retailer asked employees to check their stores for signage or displays that contain violent or aggressive behaviour and remove such items immediately. It also instructed employees to turn off hunting season videos.

The company has come under increasing pressure to act in the past few days. A petition started by a junior Walmart Inc worker in California to protest the retailer’s sale of firearms, has gathered more than 50,000 signatures on Friday.

Walmart told Reuters there has been no change in its policy on gun sales after the recent mass shootings, one of which took place in a Walmart store.

Years of public pressure led Walmart, the largest U.S arms retailer, to end assault-rifle sales in 2015 and to raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 in 2018.

Some gun control activists and Walmart customers now want the retailer to drop sales of guns and ammunition altogether.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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