Walmart to pull violent video game signs, still sell guns

Andrew Cummings
August 10, 2019

With respect to gun sales, Walmart a year ago said it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 after a teen was accused of killing 17 people at his former high school in Parkland, Fla.

An internal memo, which was shared on Twitter and Reddit, shows that the company is demanding "immediate action" that requires all signs and displays which contain violent images and aggressive behaviour to be removed from the sales floor.

As reported by Vice, a photo of a memo sent to store workers emerged online with instructions to "remove signing and displays referencing violence".

The retailer's move comes in the wake of the murder of 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. She included a link to a tweet from the organization "Guns Down America", which features a link to the Walmart rally.

The notice went on to demand that they "turn off or unplug any video game display consoles that show a demo of violent games, specifically PlayStation and Xbox units" and "verify that no movies depicting violence are playing in Electronics". The notice urged employees to use their "best judgment" and turn off games or remove displays if they are unsure of their appropriateness.

In a statement, a Walmart spokesperson told USAToday that the memo was genuine and that Walmart has "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".

"@Walmart: If video games caused gun violence, Japan would be grappling with one of the worst gun violence crises on the planet".

ABC News' Joshua Hoyos contributed reporting.

Videos related to hunting season were also to be switched off in Walmart's sporting goods department, the notice said.

Kotaku reached out to Walmart for more information, but the company has yet to respond.

Politicians, pundits and even President Trump have been quick to blame video games for real-life violence.

This stance ignores scholarship and statistics to the contrary while also failing to consider the pernicious ways in which video games and guns are related.

There have been some other reports that this halt is not a mandate at a nationwide level (despite the quote from Jenkins indicating otherwise), but a decision made at a per-store level.

"The weapons they sell are killing their own customers and employees". Especially when you consider many Walmart stores still stock and sell both firearms and ammunition. The company can decide for itself how it wants to advertise its products and whether it wants to continue selling guns or violent video games. "Walmart is one of the largest gun retailers in the world", she wrote.

Other reports by iNewsToday