Walmart Clarifies Policy on ARs and “Personal Protection” Shotguns

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We reached out to Walmart and just spoke to Kory Lundberg in their media relations group regarding reports that Wally World is getting out of the AR and “personal protection” shotgun business. While he was unsure of the status of shotguns (he said he’d get back to us when he knows more), Lundberg confirmed that a corporate decision has been made to phase out “MSR” (his term) rifles “for the fall” in favor of sporting and target guns. He stressed that this was a demand-based decision, one made to reflect and meet the needs of their customers and was in no way based on politics or any other consideration. Satisfied?

comments

  1. avatar Randy in Indiana says:

    Does this mean that though they are no longer stocking MSRs they will still accept orders for them?

    1. avatar Rad Man says:

      My nearest Walmart is an hour away and here in MA they don’t sell guns or ammo anyway.

  2. avatar Rokurota says:

    No.

  3. avatar Steve says:

    So… phasing out “Modern SPORTING Rifles” for… sporting rifles?

    The hell?

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      I thought the same thing– “in favor of sporting and target guns” which encompasses the two main uses of the AR.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Could he be using MSR = “Military Style Rifle”?

      Have to wonder at the market-driven thing. I guess WM knows more about who is buying what at their stores than I do, but I thought AR pattern rifles were THE CHEEZE these days.

      1. avatar NDS says:

        My local Cabelas (St Louis) stopped buying ARs quite awhile ago, and saw today rifles stacked waist deep like cordwood back in the storage area. The VAST majority were AR-pattern rifles. While the Wal-Mart line about demand may be utter BS, the AR boom has obviously slowed down.

        1. avatar JSJ says:

          From what I gather the AR boom has slowed down. It picks up when there is talk of weapons bans, but some of those folks who bought on impulse later sell the gun as they really don’t use it. The market is, or is close to saturation, IMHO.

        2. avatar joe n says:

          And we all know that Walmart never has loss leader sales and marks down large quantities of overly stocked items… and that never pays off in sales of ancillary products…

          ” He stressed that this was a demand-based decision, one made to reflect and meet the needs of their customers and was in no way based on politics or any other consideration. Satisfied?”

          Not only not satisfied BUT NEVER SHOPPING AT WALMART AGAIN.

          they caved.

      2. avatar dd says:

        Seems like this is just a follow up. Right after Sandy Hook is when Wal-Mart and a bunch of other big boxes yanked the AR platform from their shelves.

  4. avatar Randy in Indiana says:

    If so, that doesnt sound like a demand decision. My Walmart never stocked Colt rifles due to understandable concern about demand for an expensive AR-15–but they were willing to order me one.

  5. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Satisfied? Not really. But then, I don’t shop at Walmart.

    Is this something they do every fall?

    1. avatar Thomas W. says:

      As a Walmart associate, no.

  6. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    Hmmm. While I personally prefer to spend money with small, independent retailers those same small independents are more vulnerable to BS like the Seattle tax.

    This smells like a PR move to me. There’s no such thing as MSR season. And if there were, fall is when the weather cools and fire restrictions lift here in AZ. It’s the wrong time to pull them from the shelves for marketing purposes.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “This smells like a PR move to me.”

      I have to wonder if they just were not selling very many of them. If they sell 5 jelly-bean shotguns for every 1 tactical shotgun … or 5 bolt-action hunting rifles for every 1 AR-15, then maybe they just like to stick to inventory that moves a lot faster. Who knows?

  7. avatar MarkPA says:

    No. Time to consider whether to continue patronizing WallyWorld.

    1. avatar OneOfTheGoodGuys says:

      Yep. I don’t buy guns there anyway, but I’ll stop shopping there at all. I’m sure they won’t miss my dollars, but if we all leave maybe it would sting a little.

  8. avatar pod says:

    If they want to save face, they should make “MSRs” a special-order item. You can get it through them if you want to, but they aren’t going to stock it.

    That being said, do a lot of people really buy AR-platform rifles from Wally World?

    1. avatar Chicago Steve says:

      The problem with “special orders” is one of profit margins. I honestly see no foul play here. I’m willing to bet that they’ve done the math and by stocking/buying “fall” firearms in bulk is where their capitol is best spent at this time.

      Now, if only they could stock mini-mags…

    2. avatar clickboom says:

      It’s a good question. Their prices have typically been bad with offerings that aren’t all that popular – Carbon-15’s, weird bulky pump shotguns with huge breaches brakes that cost $600, usually one overpriced mil spec style m4 by colt or Sig for over $1000 with no features.

      But they do sell 22lr guns for fairly reasonable prices and budget hunting rigs like savage axis with a cheap scope for 400. Whoever was in charge of ordering their “MSR/TACTICAL” stock had no clue…. and they never chage the stock. It’s ridiculous. It probably will increase their bottom line to have more budget hunting rigs, because their MSR case was wasted floor space.

  9. avatar Troybilt says:

    I have heard many of the Walmart is doing this and that stories over the past few years.
    After the smoke and panic each one ended up being just that. Smoke and panic.

    On the other hand I know of around 10 time in the last few years where Walmart has reeducated store managers in Ohio of there policy on open carry.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “… where Walmart has reeducated store managers in Ohio of there policy on open carry.”

      Details please. Did the managers allow open carry and WalMart corporate told them to prohibit open carry? Did the managers prohibit open carry and WalMart corporate told them to allow open carry?

      1. avatar Troybilt says:

        Manages asked carrier to leave, corporate was called and reeducated managers of there policy to follow state laws.

  10. avatar HotandEmpty says:

    “to phase out “MSR” (his term) rifles “for the fall” in favor of sporting and target guns.He stressed that this was a demand-based decision”

    I knew that article about hunting with an MSR, during the fall hunting seasons, was make believe. The deer I shot with an MSR must have been a dream.

  11. avatar mark s. says:

    This is when members of gun rights organizations need to flex their muscle . Don’t go to Walmart , Target , etc. ,any place that publically comes out . Stop doing business there . Walmart and Target suck anyway , really . Their employees know nothing about the products they sell and they generally sell cheap Chinese and Pakistani crap . Support your local businesses . McDonalds is in the dying throngs because they believed they could provide their employees a living wage while raising cost and shrinking product size , now Walmart wants to provide their employees a living wage while shrinking their product availability . Good luck Wally World , your employees are supposed to be folding clothes , stocking shelves , gathering buggies and sweeping floors while they’re still in high school or college or working part time to better themselves while they hold down full time jobs . Living wages are for house builders , steel workers , coal miners , drill rig crews , electricians and plumbers , medical workers and similar , not burger flippers , window order takers and cashiers .

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      I doubt that providing a “living wage” for their low-level employees was ever part of McDonald’s or Wal-Mart’s business plan.

      1. avatar Tominator says:

        And never was. These are entry level jobs.

        The same people that denigrate Walmart for their wages are the same ones that vote for Liberals.

        I’ll wait until the smoke clears…but in the mean time the ammo shelves are full with competitively priced ammo!

        1. avatar JSJ says:

          well…no, we’re not the same ones that vote for liberals.

          Entry level jobs are fine for what they are, but when the country’s largest employers are no longer GM and IBM but Wal Mart,Yum (taco bell, KFC) and Mc Donalds, those are no longer entry level jobs.
          When the bulk of the country is employed at low wages it’s tough to grow an economy, much less one that isn’t dependent on taxpayer handouts and heavy borrowing.
          IMHO wanting Wal Mart, et al to pay the full cost of it’s employees instead of having the taxpayers kick in is a Conservative position, not liberal.

      2. avatar JSJ says:

        Wages have nothing to do with why McD’s is tanking. Much of their trouble traces directly to bad top management decisions and extremely conservative decision making.
        Customer’s tastes have changed, McDonald’s menu has not.

  12. avatar Shire-man says:

    If it’s a demand decision what sort of people would by firearms from Walmart and would those sorts of people buy AR’s? If so how many manufacturers would retail AR’s at a price point attractive to those customers?
    I’ve been seeing an awful lot of >$1,000 (justifiably or not) AR’s lately. Is a customer willing to drop a grand on a rifle going to do it at Walmart?
    I can see the Walmart shopping picking up a $200 shotgun or 10/22 but I can’t really see the typical Walmart shopper picking up an AR even sub $1,000 and I can’t see the gun enthusiast looking for an AR to visit Walmart.

  13. avatar gbo says:

    They probably decided to stop because the MSRs in their current inventory are gathering dust due to lack of interest….

  14. avatar NTX says:

    I bought a Sig M400 SRP a couple of years ago from a local Walmart for a decent price. Took two+ hours, and I actually had to intercede in an argument between the gun selling “associate” and his “boss” (who was beyond clueless about everything, including the 4473, how to approve the sale on the register, and walking the gun out of the store). I will never get those hours back, and I regret the experience to this day. I do like and still have the gun, so the morning wasn’t a total loss.

  15. avatar Kevin says:

    “Phasing out MSR rifles for the fall”…sounds to me like more of a decision to put out as many Fudd guns as they can to sell while the selling’s good. If they come back later and say no more MSR’s or defense shotguns then I’ll pay more attention, but right now it looks to me like it’s just seasonal marketing.

  16. avatar Leroy says:

    The way the the prices have been falling on everything ar15 I am not surprised that Walmart would want out of Inventory that is depreciating as the glut of ar supply works it’s way through the system.

    1. This. I don’t think this one is about pr boys, it just a math thing.

  17. avatar Funtapaz says:

    They’re probably aiming for lower price fudd guns for the upcoming hunting seasons. We’ll probably see a return of MSRs and defensive shotguns closer to Xmas.

    It really does make sense from a market standpoint.

  18. avatar MAC][ says:

    Thanks for getting the sorta-clarification-ish-ness?

    IF this is just prep for hunt’n season, then ‘meh’. Stock what’s selling right? Capitalism at work!

  19. avatar Shannon's Pimp says:

    Build your own, we don’t need them (WALMART) anymore…

    1. avatar William B. says:

      Even though I’m like you, and build all my own now, and would probably never buy one from WM, anyway, the bottom line is that the biggest of that type store, that almost everyone shops in at least occasionally, has the chance to get someone interested in MSRs, join the club, and become a 2A proponent. Just speaking for myself, I’m sad to see them go, and don’t think for a second they’ll be back unless and until the recent spate of loons engaging in mass shootings ceases, at least for a good long while.

  20. avatar pres stone says:

    honestly, i believe them. i don’t know anyone that has ever bought a gun from walmart, and i live in arkansas.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    “He stressed that this . . . was in no way based on politics or any other consideration.”

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

    1. avatar SAS 2008 says:

      Exactly. Total BS. The story they came up with when they stopped selling handguns was crap too.

      http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/23/business/wal-mart-to-end-sales-of-handguns-in-stores.html

  22. avatar Stinkeye says:

    The way the bottom has dropped out of the AR market lately, this certainly has a ring of believability to it. Walmart is ruthless about dropping poorly-selling products, and there are frankly much better deals out there on ARs than what Walmart was selling. I wouldn’t expect ARs to come back to Walmart after the fall hunting season, either. They’ll probably concentrate their product line on inexpensive (sub-$400) guns they can actually get their customers to buy.

  23. avatar Del says:

    Please bear in mind, W-M, like Colt, is going for that gov-mint check (EBT money). Screw the American Shooter.

    The Invisible Operation Choke Point. The Government EBT monies are W-M’s life line.

    1. avatar Shannon's Pimp says:

      True, EBT everywhere. They should just have dedicated EBT lines…

  24. avatar TruthTellers says:

    Time will tell if the AR’s ever return to Walmart after hunting season. If it is Walmart’s intention to restock and sell them again once hunting season ends, I find it hard to believe that the drastic reduction in price of the AR’s they’re selling is just to make room. Walmart is throwing away money with these deals and makes me believe there is in fact more behind this than to move merchandise for seasonal merchandise.

    So, there’s several possibilities here: First, is Walmart is being honest. Second, Walmart is liquidating stock in a fire sale with the intention to never bring the MSR’s and possibly shotguns back. Third, Walmart, with all their high up connections, knows that something is coming legal wise, possibly an executive order or the signing of the UN small arms treaty that would all out ban “military rifles” and they’re getting what money they can before the hammer comes down that bans all sales of “military rifles.”

    1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      Signing the UN Treaty does nothing unless ratified by the Senate which isn’t in the cards. He has no statutory authority to issue an EO banning any firearm. If had the authority he would have exercised it already.

  25. avatar Vitsaus says:

    That’s a shame, I really like the produce and meat department there.

  26. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Hello, my name is Rusty, and I shop at Walmart.

    Now that I got that off my chest, I gotta tell you that of all the buns I have ever purchased only a single 10/22 came from Walmart. Their MSRs that showed up back in the stores here after being gone for a while just gather dust in the cabinet. There are too many real gun stores in this area, from big box Cabella’s to Adventure Outdoors (big local store with thousands of guns on the shelf) to all the smaller high quality shops for Walmart to be able to compete with. They just don’t have the right people to sell guns successfully in most of their stores, so I will continue to buy the stuff they have that I need.

  27. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Satisfied? Sure. Pure, unadulterated BS.

  28. avatar Ladd Boid says:

    I doubt they sold many MSRs, relatively speaking. They were selling the $1000+ stuff and the low end ARs. Their low end prices were easily beatable most of the time by buying online and from other rural resellers like Big R and the like. That, coupled with the ridiculous time it takes them to document the purchase while they wait on a store manager and the walking it and you out the door, causes some buyers to never return for another purchase.

  29. avatar Roy says:

    This makes sense, it really does. The margins aren’t that great on MSRs right now and Walmart can fill a great niche for “last minute get yourself a $450 bolt action with scope to go hunting for the first time” customers. My brother does that every year. He has grip loads of kids and just about each year he has to go out and get a bargain hunting rifle for the next one coming of age. I don’t know anybody that has bought an AR15 at Walmart, but I do know folks that have bought bolt-action/scope combo rifles there.

  30. avatar TwinReverb says:

    Just another reason not to shop at Walmart.

  31. avatar Bruce L. says:

    I was told at my local Walmart today that they will stop selling “assault” weapons and “assault” ammo. They did have 5.56 ammo on closeout.

  32. avatar MiniMe says:

    “Satisfied?”

    Hell to the no. This stinks of under-the-table secret-squirrel gun-control b.s.

  33. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Check out the Gun Barn at Rural King and their prices. Wally World employees are clueless about selling guns anyway.

  34. avatar Avid Reader says:

    I haven’t seen shootin’ irons at any WM in the Denver metro area for years. Sadly, that’s just symptomatic of the larger issue.

  35. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    The local Wal Mart had all the AR’s on clearance. The Mossberg 930/breacher barrel was on clearance. For some reason they had the Mossberg Turkey Thug and the Rossi Circuit Judge on clearance as well. The Remington 870 with the 18″ barrel was regularly priced.

  36. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Meh no I don’ t buy it. Or care-I rarely go to WallyWorld anyway. The only one I occasionally entered has ammo only-being across from Cabelas now(Hammond,Indiana) They don’t beat Cabelas anyway as I use saver card. I’ve seen guns farther out but except for cheap shotguns or bolt guns overpriced. AND NO HELP if you have a problem…

  37. avatar anaxis says:

    I work at a N. Alabama Walmart, and my store stopped carrying “tactical” ARs & shotguns a couple months ago. What we were told was that demand was just not high enough, and judging from the turnover rate of the particular guns we did have, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Even after the existing shelf stock was marked down, we only just sold the last .22 AR that’d been sitting there for almost a year. This store simply can’t compete with the very good LGS’s and pawn-shops that are less than a mile away, and they know it.
    However, our store is still selling AR furniture (grips, rails, etc), and is still ordering new stock. We are also increasing the variety and amount of ammunition ordered to meet demand; part of my job is to check-in every box of rounds that comes off the trucks, and I have noticed a definite improvement.
    But there are a couple guys (along with their extended families) who show up every morning and wait for the new stuff to be brought out, so things like .22lr doesn’t even make it onto the shelf, even with the 2-box limit. They simply bring enough cousins/uncles/buddies to buy up every last round, and then head out to resell the stuff at the local flea-markets for a x3 markup. Even though everyone knows what they’re doing & much as we don’t like them doing it, we can’t refuse the sale.

  38. avatar Jjimmyjomga says:

    The Walton family own, and enjoy, many of both.

  39. avatar Chadwick P. says:

    Yeah because come election time people won’t be freaking out about hitlery taking our sporting rifles away? Walmart do you think all of your customers are retarded? Political bs and nothing else.

  40. avatar 7.62x54r says:

    Too late for me to boycott them. Purchased an 887 Nitro-Mag last week for $270 including tax. Too long to be tactical but it is black.

  41. avatar GRW says:

    My local Walmart had the exact same AR15 in the display case for 6 months (visible SN, I was kinda, sorta, maybe interested in it), yet every other rifle in the same case was sold and replaced multiple times it seems. Until a massive price drop finally managed to move it (35%) and a .22lr “training model”. They also had to drop the price on “tactical cases” to get them to move.

    I caught a glimpse of the stock notes for changeover, saying how they are getting behind the trap shooter in a big way, more target shells, more clays, bigger displays etc. They already have extra shelves dedicated to shells.

    Now when it comes to firearms the Walmarts around here are where you go when your LGS, Cabela’s, Dick’s, Dunham’s etc are closed and you cant wait for online delivery. YMMV

    Add to that the hunting seasons are kicking in and not many these parts can or will hunt with an AR so better to have what people will use on shelves heading in.

    Obviously I can’t say for all Walmart’s but in my local that one spot the AR took up for six months could and most likely would have moved a lot of other rifles. If that pans out across the company could very well just be a business decision.

  42. avatar Crowbar says:

    I live in south western PA. My local Walmart had to get rid of everything that had the word “tactical” in it. Not only AR’s, but clothing, holsters, sights, etc. My brother is district manager for them in NC. His stores did the same and he was told they will not be carrying anything tactical again. Weapons, clothes, ammo, anything. Funny they will still be selling video games like Battlefield, Modern Warfare, and GTA which all have copious amounts of violence and all the aforementioned guns and gear plus quite a few more.

  43. avatar Buck says:

    I was told it was too be more family oriented. When asked if I could order an AR the answer was no, that Wal-Mart’s done with AR and tactical shotguns.

  44. avatar gsnyder says:

    You’ll know if they never restock an AR. When a company who counts beans like nobody’s business stops selling the #1 rifle in the US, something’s up.

    No, I don’t believe. I think you got lip serviced.

  45. avatar Michael says:

    Screw walmart, I refuse to shop there.

  46. avatar Edward Jaffe says:

    WALMART IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. DO NOT SHOP THERE.
    DITTO FOR DICKS’
    SUPPORT YOU LOCAL *REAL* FFL.
    My local FFL and nearby FFL sell GLOCK, AK-47, AR-15 and anything you order.

  47. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    I’m quite sure that demand is not uniform across all Walmarts.

  48. avatar Geoff says:

    Most of the Walmarts around here that do sell guns have a very limited supply. 2 rotating displays or a 5 to 10 foot glass case, never more than 20 to 30 rifles and shotguns. On the other hand, Bass Pro in Myrtle Beach has a 30 to 40 foot rack full of shotguns (50%) bolt and semi rifles (AR) (40%) and the rest are .22LR in various types. Of course they are overpriced compared to Academy, which is about just as well stocked.
    Mostly shotguns right now as hunting season is approaching, but I can’t afford $600 to $3000 shotguns anyway.

  49. avatar Jeff in MS says:

    They also phase out footballs in favor of tennis balls every spring. So what?

  50. avatar JT says:

    This isn’t just for the fall. TFB was able to get a hold of Walmart Corporate. Anything “tactical” is gone and there are no plans to bring them back.

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/08/25/wal-mart-abandons-ar-15-shooters-good/

  51. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    I’m not concerned at this point. I’ve seen my WalMart go for a couple months at a time without an AR except that one grossly overpriced Colt.

    If they are not simply following seasonal trends, then they are negotiating contracts. They play very hard ball in getting the price they want from suppliers. I remember once many years ago when it was almost as hard to get Coke at Walmart as getting .22 today.

    This could well mean we see some good prices in the Christmas shopping season.

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