The news comes amid a broad public push to tighten gun regulations in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school on Feb 14th that caused the death of 17 people, mostly students.
“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,” Walmart said in a statement.
“We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys,” Walmart (WMT.N) said. “Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.”
The move follows Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS.N) announcement that it would stop selling assault-style weapons like the one used in the Florida high school mass shooting. It also raised the age of sale of all firearms to age 21 from age 18.
The accused gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, legally bought a weapon at Dick’s in November, although not the type used in the shooting. Cruz, a former student at Stoneman Douglas, is accused of using an AR-15 assault-style weapon to carry out the killing.
The massacre spurred a youth-led wave of protests, and state and national officials are considering whether to pass stricter gun control measures. The National Rifle Association (NRA) traditionally opposes such curbs, citing the right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. This has caused public backlash against the NRA where several major corporations, including MetLife, Hertz, Delta Air, United Airlines and Best Western have cut ties with the association since the Florida tragedy.