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Gun rights activists test Walmart request not to open guns in store



Gun rights activists in Texas test Walmart's request not to open in stores by doing just that.

David Amad, Vice President of Open Carry Texas, told The New York Times that the 38,000 members of his group have been opening their weapons in Walmart stores since the dealership announced last week that they "respect" customers for no longer opening guns into the stores.

He said that none of the members who have done so have been asked to leave.

"They convey the problem," Amad told the Times. "They try to get the cannon haters to leave them at peace, while at the same time leaving us at peace when we run in their stores."

A Walmart spokesman told The Hill that employees are not instructed to approach peaceful shoppers who can carry weapons in areas where hunting is popular. The goal is to maintain a "non-confrontational approach," the spokesman said, citing the language Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillion used in last week's announcement.

However, the spokesman said that the company has provided guidelines for store managers if a customer makes employees or customers uncomfortable. Managers are expected to take the recommended protocol for different situations, which in some cases may mean calling law enforcement.

Walmart's decision to ask gun owners not to carry guns directly into stores came after an August shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, left 22 dead.

The decision was briefly halted by a direct ban on guns in stores and represents a similar approach to those taken by other dealers, including Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, Target and Starbucks.

Costco is the only retailer in the 30 largest US retailers to ban firearms, based on interviews conducted by The Hill last week.

Stores can legally restrict the shipping of weapons to their private property.

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1; This report was updated at 20.20


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