Some pushed back on what they saw as less-than-forceful language. And Walmart, for one, will still allow concealed carry. State laws “prohibit us from doing a complete ban,” a company spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. None of the companies will be strictly enforcing the policy, according to the Associated Press, citing a memo by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon that said the company doesn’t want to expose workers to potentially dangerous confrontations.

Walmart will display signs in its stores, advising customers of the new rule.

“I’m sure the guy who intends to rob the store doesn’t read signs,” former NYPD detective sergeant Joe Giacalone told Quartz.

Still, banning open carry “sends a very strong cultural signal that companies are siding with the safety of families,” anti-gun violence campaigner Shannon Watts told CNN Business.

A T-Mobile store in New York City asks customers to leave their guns at home.
A T-Mobile store in New York City asks customers to leave their guns at home.
Image: Justin Rohrlich

Last year, Kroger Co., the second largest supermarket chain in America, stopped selling guns and ammunition at its Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest. Walmart this week also announced it would stop selling handguns in Alaska—the only state in which it was still carrying them—and all handgun ammunition once its current inventory is depleted.

The National Rifle Association came out strongly against Walmart’s decision yesterday, issuing a statement calling it “shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites.”

“Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms,” the NRA insisted.

However, the gun lobby group’s prediction may not pan out. In February 2018, national chain Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling assault-style rifles and removed all guns from 20% of its stores a few weeks after a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.

Last month, Dick’s reported a 3.2% increase in same store sales for the second quarter of 2019, its best result in three years. It raised its sales and earnings outlook for the year, the news bringing with it a 4% bump in the company’s stock price.

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