Walmart announced Thursday that it would temporarily remove advertising displays for violent video games following two shootings in Walmart stores in the past few weeks.
The retailer told USA Today in a statement that the move was done out of respect for victims in the two shootings and did not represent a "long-term" policy for the company.
“We’ve taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and this action does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment,” spokeswoman Tara House told the newspaper.
The decision comes after 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas, at a Walmart near the city's Cielo Vista Mall on Saturday by a suspect who police say posted racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric in a manifesto online before his attack.
A separate shooting at a Walmart in Mississippi last Tuesday resulted in the deaths of two Walmart managers and was purportedly carried out by a disgruntled ex-employee.
Police in Missouri say a man was arrested Thursday night after allegedly showing up at a Walmart wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a rifle.
Earlier this week, 40 of the company's employees staged a walkout at an e-commerce office in California on Wednesday, urging the retailer to stop selling firearms in the wake of the shootings.
Democrats have called for action on gun control in the wake of the El Paso shooting as well as two other mass shootings within the past two weeks in Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, Calif., and have pointed to the white supremacist ideologies reportedly espoused by two of the shooters as a cause for federal action.
Some Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022 Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE (R-Calif.) and President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE, have blamed the influence of violent media in recent days, accusing media of glorifying violence.
"We must stop the glorification of violence in our society," Trump said Monday following two shootings over the weekend. "This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace."