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Walmart reverses decision to remove guns, ammo from sales floors

Walmart reverses decision to remove guns, ammo from sales floors
© ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Walmart announced Friday that it would be reversing its decision to remove guns and ammunition from its sales floors in anticipation of civil unrest in the lead-up to Election Day. 

In an email obtained by Bloomberg, the retail giant said that the incidents that caused the company to remove firearms from the sales floors were isolated. 

"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," a spokesperson wrote, according to Bloomberg. "As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today."

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The firearms and ammunition were removed from public display Thursday as a precaution following looting and damage some of its stores had endured in Philadelphia this week. 

At least one of the stores had been ransacked after violent demonstrations broke out after local police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr., a Black man whose family says he was having issues with his mental health. 

Walmart had taken similar precautions of removing guns and ammunition from their sales floors after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in police custody in late May. His death sparked nationwide protests that, at times, became violent. 

News from the retailer also comes amid a high-stakes and divisive election. A majority of surveyed Americans anticipate there will be violence during or after Election Day as both Democrats and Republicans have worried about the validity of the election and suspect foul play. 

State and city leaders are also taking precautions in the days leading up to Tuesday's election. Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions No thank you, Dr. Fauci States split on COVID-19 responses as cases surge MORE (D) said that officials held an "all-hazards drill" to respond to election-related threats. 

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomMayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put California, Texas shatter single-day nationwide record for new coronavirus cases Denver mayor flies to Mississippi for Thanksgiving after advising against travel MORE (D) also said that he and local officials were taking precautions in the Golden State in anticipation of election-related unrest. 

"As it relates to making sure people are safe, making sure not only the process of voting is a safe and healthy one, but keeping people safe after the election for whatever may occur,” Newsom told Politico about possible election night chaos. “The answer is yes, we are always gaming out different scenarios and making sure that we are prepared.”