“How Walmart Helped Make Newtown Shooter’s AR-15 the Most Popular Assault Weapon in America,” thenation.com headline proclaims. Ouch. That’s the media meme bedeviling big box retailers. In the face of criticism from gun control advocates, they’re abandoning ship on selling “military-style” semi-automatic rifles in the wake of the Sandy Hook slaughter. Walmart pulled the Bushmaster AR-15 from their web store. Our sources tell us that Walmart will off-load their remaining inventory of Bushmasters—which are selling like hotcakes—and then stop sales for an indeterminate period. It’s not clear if they’re discontinuing all of their “assault rifles.” ktar.com reports that Dick’s Sporting Goods is removing “certain models of semi-automatic firearms” from their stores. Dick’s is “suspending sales during this national time of mourning.” The retailers could well be shooting themselves in the proverbial foot; firearms consumers buy from “friends,” bear a grudge and have long memories (cough Ruger cough).

78 Responses to BREAKING: Big Box Retailers (WalMart and Dicks Sporting Goods) Stop Selling Semis

    • I agree, this is nothing but GREAT news for every “mom and pop” firearms retailer in the U.S. who has suffered every time a walmart or big box store was built.

    • How is this not a problem? It seems like there is a coordinated effort to simultaneously purge guns from every aspect of society, on the media front, and now on the distributor level. This, combined with the other mass-withdrawals from anything gun culture that TTAG has cited is immensely troubling. We are losing ground in this fight, and whether you think Walmart sells good guns does not change the fact that Walmart making guns more available to law abiding citizens was a very good thing.

    • Well if they are trying to help the local economy than that is what it will do.
      Ok sarcasm off..
      They are caving to media, although all of them will probably put them right back on sale once the media moves on to the next big thing.

      I am sure if another tornado or hurricane moved in we would forget this whole thing a lot faster. As despicable as that sounds the media moves where the blood and carnage is.

  1. I guess they don’t like making money. That’s funny, because isn’t that the whole point of strong arming their suppliers into moving production to China to take advantage of cheap labor and little to no workers’ rights regulations?

  2. Consumers aren’t the winners here. Most LGS I visit already have ridiculous markups, Wally world was one of the few places keeping prices normalized. Higher prices are coming. Looks like Bud’s and my $20 per xfer ffl will be seeing a lot more of me. I prefer to spend locally, but I refuse to pay higher prices when they are already making record profits.

    • Bud’s prices ain’t what they used to be.

      What’s troubling about all this is that guns in general and ARs on particular are being pulled out of the main stream and demonized as possessions of fringe elements in our society.

      This too shall pass, but it’ll take a long time to make up the lost ground.

  3. dicks is the store that the killer tried buying a gun…and was refused (positive gun control) …so dicks folds under the knee jerk lap dog liberal media pressure…no big deal never shoped there anyways….

  4. I thinks it’s a combination of two factors.One is the obvious PR issue related to the shooting,but the other reason is prudent inventory management.Come January there’s going to be serious effort toward passing a renewed AWB in Washington, and no retailer selling ARs and AKs wants to lose money on soon to be banned inventory if another AWB gets signed into law.PR aside it’s bad business to have capital tied up in soon to be unsellable merchandise.

    • Walmart maintains a small inventory at all times and instead chooses to ship goods more often. So it’s not an inventory control strategy. It’s probably a PR move, which I don’t blame them for because they already get more bad PR than almost any other retailer. Also, it’s probably to do with liability since stores can be sued for selling legal guns that are later used in crimes.

      • There’s still a good deal of uncertainty regarding future gun regulations.For a business with no idea of what the future looks like for marketability of AR15s,it’s best to sit back and wait for the dust to settle.It just so happens there’s also a PR benefit to not restocking AR15s.

  5. I’d rather see market forces shut down sales as opposed to unconstitutional legislation. If these stores want to not sell these rifles then fine, I also will stop shopping there too.

  6. Our local Walmarts don’t sell guns anyway, and while their ammo prices were good, they weren’t any better than my LGS.

    Most of Dick’s merchandise is low end crap anyway, including the guns they run specials on.

    And both the Walmart and Dick’s in my area are in hellhole locations to get to anyway.

    My dollars are better spent elsewhere.

  7. Remember this is the holiday season. Xmas sales make up the majority of most retailers revenue. They see the emotional pull against these guns and have made a calculation to not piss off what they precieve to be the majority. They see this as a win right now. Someone has done the math and the political calculation. Come spring or the next hunting season some of these will auto-magically come back into stock.

    Not sure if anyone who comments here on TTAG has access and can read through those quaterly filings to know what percentage of sales these guns are to these retailers but I bet not so much to make a difference.

  8. They will be back if there is no AWB. This a smart marketing move. They sell out their remaining inventory, they look like the good guys and when things get back to normal the evil black rifles will creep back on the shelves. There is way too much demand for them to permanently walk away from this segment.

    On another note, if Springfield wants to make a lot of money they would bring back the Garand. It’s only got an 8 round capacity which should pacify the gun grabbers and it is an historic firearm like the Colt SAA and the Winchester 73. They could reinforce the tradition image by bringing back the ’03 Springfield as well. I would buy one. Hell, I would buy both.

    • Good marketing, maybe, but to whom? Why do they have to look like “the good guys” to unreasonable people? This is America, and there’s nothing that makes you a bad guy for selling a gun.

      By doing this, Walmart is in essence helping make these types of guns taboo. In addition this is great ammunition (pun not intended) for the anti-gunners: “See? Even Walmart took these guns off their shelves!”

  9. The Alameda county wal marts don’t sell guns or ammo. Ditto the new m1’s. Didn’t springfield make a run of m1’s chambered in 7.62×51?

  10. bought my mini 14 at walmart last year spent some time talking to the manager (in SC they, management, have to check every purchase). He told me they made like no money on gun sales and just do it to drive traffic and keep off competition. Now ammo that I would be upset about as of my last visit 233 tulammo went for 4.50 for 20 at walmart.

  11. Interesting. In times of crisis you really find out who is on your side. This upwelling of emotions due to the CT tragedy are a crisis for the entire firearms industry and gun owners. So, Freedom Group is cashing out, big box stores are like rats deserting a sinking ship, and the NRA remains silent. Nice to know where you stand when the shit hits the fan.

      • I disagree. With a relentless public opinion assault going on currently the silence comes across as defeat. Policy is currently being shaped. The Anti 2A lobbying groups are hard at work and so far unopposed. At that the NRA is failing us.

      • My thoughts exactly. They are getting too much hate mail. When the backlash dies down I’m sure they will speak up.

  12. Firearms and related sales was one of the few area’s still doing good in our markets, any bans or gun controls will cost more jobs to be lost and less income , this is at the worst time for USA. With the dollar losing more value each day we keep going down the drain……

  13. Seriously. Everybody wants a piece of the gun “culture” when it’s easy, but at the first signs of trouble, tents fold up and people run.
    This is actually a little less severe than the things that K-Mart and Fred Meyer did following Columbine, but the same type of reaction.

  14. I believe Lanza drove a Civic to the elementary school. If anti-2A’s are going nuts over an AR, maybe they should ask Feinstein to go after Honda as well.

  15. Is this the tipping point? I think we’ve been here a few times before and there still wasn’t the collective will to actually ban such overpowered weaponry, but maybe this time the image of 20 dead children will be enough to finally move this issue forward.

    There is no justification for citizens to own a 30 round, high power semi-auto rifle beyond “because I want to”, and when that selfish desire stacks up against dead children no decent human being should have any argument at all.

        • But but but I though jeebus and the magical sky fairy gave us those rights and they are inviolable?

          I fully support changing the constitution regarding the 2nd, and I think within the next twenty years it will happen. I don’t think we are quite at the point yet though, but a couple more attacks like this and no politician will be able to stand against it.

    • your just try making the most emotional argument you can huh? So you think that making him reload 3x as much as he did would have slowed him down much?

    • I believe Syria might be the place for you and your children.

      You can own handguns in Syria, but I believe rifles are prohibited. Surely this type of environment will lead to a better quality of life for you and yours.

      Unless a government and a military turns on its own people – but that would never happen, right?

    • If there had been a gun owner carrying on school grounds the body count would be a lot closer to 0. Also, instead of making ignorant statements, why don’t you actually learn about what you are arguing against. 223 rifles are not high powered. If they were, Washington State would allow us hunters to pursue Deer and Elk with them. As to you statement about capacity limits, go watch a shooting competition and see how fast they can reload. Also, the Colorado shooter couldn’t use the rifle that well because he was using a beta mag, which holds 100 rounds and jams all of the time. The Arizona shooter was actually stopped because people grabbed the high capacity magazine and used the length of it as leverage to disarm him. There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal today that points out fallacies in your arguments that you should read, it may enlighten you and provoke your thought process so you can actually understand the issues and not make irrational arguments.

      • Utter rubbish – why do you idiots think that everybody carrying guns would solve all the problems in the world? Do you walk around town and sit in your office with your gun out and point it at everybody who comes into your visual range? Of course not, that is ridiculous, so I can come up to you and pop you before you even know what’s happening, then move on to the kids.

        At least come up with something barely credible next time – these kinds of armchair warrior if-only-I-had-been-there diatribes are just laughably pathetic.

        • That is your image of a gun owner and probably what you do with a weapon.

          Riddle me this friend. Why does worst neighborhood in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church and Fairfax Virginia with a wide ownership of guns have a lower crime rate than NYC’s safest neighborhood where guns are banned?

        • Here are the 2011 crime statistics from the FBI for Virginia and New York.

          Total violent crime:
          VA: 196.7
          NY: 398.1

          Murder:
          VA: 3.7
          NY: 4.0

          Rape:
          VA: 19.0
          NY: 14.1 (score one for NY)

          Armed Robbery:
          VA: 67.1
          NY: 149.9

          Ag. Assault
          VA: 101.9
          NY: 234.1

          Now these are state totals. Virginia’s highest crime rates are in the Richmond and Norfolk areas. While New York City is where crime is concentrated in New York State. Crime in NYC is as low as it is because Rudi Giuliani and has gone backwards since Bloomberg took over. The Village Voice, not exactly the newpaper of the Republican Party, has documented how Bloomberg’s NYPD has systematicly under reported crime to keep the tourist coming to NYC.

    • Maybe then there is no reason for the government to have them either? We argue that they are for war, but your type always argues that war is never the answer. So, I’m okay with you arguing nobody needs them anymore. I’m happy to get rid of mine when the government does. Perhaps we can get UN inspectors in to ensure government compliance?

      Sound good to you? We can disband the military and sing kumbaya together.

  16. I have to wonder if walmart is also going to go through all of their toy inventory?

    Can’t have any make believe guns on the shelf, right?

  17. Yep looks like cheaperthandirt pulled all their guns for sale off their entire site.
    ‘CheaperThanDirt.com does not sell firearms.’ is what i get if I refresh a cached

    • [Aaron] What happened to all the guns?
      [Milo] Welcome to Cheaper Than Dirt! Tech Talk. My name is Milo.
      [Aaron] Hi Milo
      [Milo] We are currently out of stock
      [Aaron] Youve sold out of every firearm you carry?
      [Milo] Completely out of stock
      [Aaron] And redesigned the site to remove them altogether? Just a customer wondering whats going on
      [Milo] Aaron, all I know is that I was informed we are completely out of stock on firearms.

      [Aaron] Ok Milo have a nice day!

  18. I don’t know if it has been said. I checked Walmart.com and they still list the Sig AR and the Colt as well as the S&W .22 Ar styled rifle. They have just removed Bushmaster.

  19. Buds is acting like it’s under a DDoS attack (servers being deliberately overwhelmed). Kept popping up with “authenticating browser” or something like that, and then going down, popping back up, going down, slow when it was up.

  20. I had been browsing cheaperthandirt as well, throwing a few things in the shopping cart and saw the “CheaperThanDirt.com does not sell firearms” line as well. I also went to the chat and got a similar response:

    [Mike] I had some planned gun purchases saved in my shopping cart and now they all say “CheaperThanDirt.com does not sell firearms”. Is this a policy change?
    [Milo] Welcome to Cheaper Than Dirt! Tech Talk. My name is Milo.
    [Mike] Hi Milo. I was getting ready to do a purchase and now all I get is “CheaperThanDirt.com does not sell firearms”. What’s up with that?
    [Mike] Is it a new policy or something?
    [Mike] Hello…???
    [Milo] I am sorry for the delay.
    [Milo] The only information I have is that we are completely out of stock.
    [Mike] All at once!?
    [Mike] That seems unbelievable
    [Milo] Mike, That is all the info I have
    [Mike] Okay thanks. Guess I’ll have to find another shop.

    Budsgunshop.com site is completely unavailable. CTD says they’re “out of stock” (via chat), Cerberus selling off the Freedom Group, big box shops distancing themselves from the “evil” “military assault style rifle”, etc.. I’m not one to wear a tin foil hat but it’s very difficult to believe that the Sandy Hook tragedy, as horrible as it is, could be the only catalyst for all of this.

    Maybe this is what the Mayan calendar doom/gloom prediction meant. The human race won’t go out in a BANG, but rather a wimper waiting for the first responders every time they stub their toe or spill a glass of milk and need someone to clean up the mess.

  21. The only thing Dick’s execs are really mourning are the losses of revenue in dropping a selling product. My local Dick stores are really dicks in that it takes an in-store hike and shout-out to get a clerk to stroll by the gun department to hand me a gun to examine.

    • “My local Dick stores are really dicks in that it takes an in-store hike and shout-out to get a clerk to stroll by the gun department to hand me a gun to examine.”

      My local store is the same way.

  22. And it is not just big box stores and AR or semi auto rifles!! Just got a quote from a private individual I always order brass from on some once fired, cleaned but not deprimed .223 brass. Federal and Winchester brass, mixed lot of 5,000 casings that I could have gotten 2 weeks ago from the same guy for .15cents each are now .30cents each with a minimum purchase of 2,000 and I pay shipping!!
    Do believe he can kiss my ass. I reload and used to buy from him weekly/monthly depending on caliber. Now will be none!!
    I don’t shoot or own a .223 but reload it for friends. Luckily they have a good bit stocked up.
    .308 brass went from .18 each per 1,000 to .30 each per 2500.
    .45acp brass went from .04 each to .10 each and a min of 3000 per order.
    Hope he likes the taste of brass, have done told all the locals I know that order from him what he was doing. BTW: he gets his brass free because he cleans up various ranges for free.

  23. Was in Atlanta Dicks Saturday, three AR’s on the rack. Clerk says they were still flying off the racks, even that day. Go by to make an exchange today- two different clerks read me the corporate memo saying all AR rifles and mags must be removed from the sales floor. Not only that, but all AR-appearing AIRSOFT toys were also removed. Eye rolling ensued. They said corp was very top down, grim about the directive. Threats of dismissal , etc.

  24. Stopped by my LGS today…all ARs sold out except the three sitting in front of customers. New shipment due in tomorrow. Screw Walmart, Dicks, and Cheaper.

  25. I was going to get the Sig AR they were selling at Wally World for $900 with OD Green Magpul MOE furniture.

    I am really really happy I supported my local mom and pops range/store, saved $200 and got my PSA M4 with a Vortex Strikefire red/green dot optic.

  26. Walmart is definitely not my first choice of retailers. Only been in Dick’s once. Never again. Can’t even honor rifle sales they presold. Breech of trust. You will not be able to trust them anymore. A boycott is in order. Banning sales of guns with century old technology makes about as much sense as – – – ??? nothing!!!

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