Walmart is taking displays of violent video games out of stores following El Paso shooting

Walmart is taking displays of violent video games out of stores following El Paso shooting


People shop at a Walmart store in Rosemead, California on May 23, 2019.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Following two deadly shootings at Walmart stores this summer, the company is taking displays of violent video games out of stores.

Walmart this week sent workers in its stores a notice telling them to take “immediate action,” to “remove signing and displays referencing violence.” It called out specifically turning off PlayStation and Xbox units with violent graphics, and also to “cancel and events promoting combat or third-person shooter games.”

“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,” a spokeswoman told CNBC on Friday.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon earlier this week took to his social media accounts to say the company will be “thoughtful and deliberate” in how it responds to the shootings, one of which took place on July 30 at its El Paso store, where 22 people were killed.

U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren also tweeted to Walmart on Friday morning: “No profit is worth those lives. Do the right thing — stop selling guns.” She said she would be at a rally this weekend urging the same.

Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said about half of the 4,700 Walmart locations in the U.S. sell guns, with more selling ammunition. But Hargrove has said there are no plans for Walmart to change its firearms policies since the shootings or a petition was started to protest gun sales.

U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker applauded the petition, saying on Friday: “Walmart should use its power to stop selling guns in its stores until politicians and gun manufacturers get their act together and raise the standard for gun ownership in this country.”

Vice News first reported on the video game display changes Thursday evening.



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