On Wednesday, Walmart announced it is removing semi-automatic rifles and similar sports firearms from its stores because of poor sales—not because of the killing of two Virginia journalists on live TV.
The decision had been in the works for months and Walmart notified suppliers early this year that the company would be moving away from so-called modern sports rifles, Kory Lundberg, a spokesman told NBC News.
Customers are simply no longer "excited" about the products, Lundberg said. Walmart is refocusing its firearms sales on "people who shoot clays and stuff." The timing was driven by Walmart's transition for summer merchandise to fall merchandise, he said, not by the public debate over guns.