Members of the Will County Young Republicans said they are calling for a boycott of major retail stores that recently asked customers not to openly carry guns inside the businesses.
Walmart announced it would stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition, and requested that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it. Walgreens also recently followed suit by asking patrons not to openly bring their guns inside its stores.
The group’s leaders said they were “taking a stand” against the action in a news release this week.
“Walmart is too busy bending to political pressure to look at the facts,” said Brandon Harris, the chairman of the Young Republicans. “We believe the Second Amendment and at the same time question why Walmart is not working to demand government agencies do their part correctly.”
Walmart made the announcement after multiple mass shootings last month around the country, in which dozens of people were killed.
While Harris expressed sympathy for the victims of mass shootings, he said he felt Walmart’s actions would negatively affect Americans’ ability to exercise their constitutional rights.
The National Rifle Association echoed the sentiments of the Young Republicans in its response to Walmart’s announcement.
“It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites,” the NRA said in a statement. “Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms.”
Walmart said in a news release it has about a 20% share of the ammunition market. With this action, it said it believes that could decrease to about 6% to 9%. The company also said it had previously decided to discontinue selling handguns or semiautomatic rifles such as the AR-15.
“Walmart’s sensational response is a direct attack by an entity with large influence to take away our rights and basic freedoms,” said Cornel Darden, a Will County Young Republican member.