Walmart returning guns and ammunition back to its sales floors

NEW YORK -- Hours after Walmart announced the removal of ammunition and firearms from display at it its U.S. stores, the company said guns and ammunition will return Friday.

Walmart released the following statement regarding the decision:

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

The nation's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, sells firearms in about half of its 4,700 stores.

The move to remove guns and ammunition on Thursday came after several days of protests, widespread vandalism and an overnight curfew in Philadelphia before Election Day after police fatally shot Walter Wallace, a Black man with a history of mental health problems.

Walmart made a a similar move in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd that set off sometimes violent demonstrations against police brutality and injustice against African Americans.

Last year, Walmart stopped selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition while requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it. The company also ended the sale of handguns in Alaska, the only state where the discounter sold them.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.