(BBC) – Walmart has removed gun and ammunition from display in thousands of its stores in the United States, citing concerns of “civil unrest”.
Customers will still be able to buy guns and ammunition on request. It is not yet known how long firearms will be removed from the sales floor.
Walmart sells firearms in around half of its 4,700 stores in the US.
The decision comes after a fatal police shooting in Philadelphia triggered protests that saw some shops looted.
The family of Walter Wallace Jr, an African American, says he was suffering a mental health crisis when officers opened fire on him. Police say they shot him because he would not drop a knife.
Walmart also withdrew guns and ammunition from some outlets in June after stores were damaged during protests following the killing of George Floyd.
“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” the retail giant’s spokesman Kory Lundberg said in a statement on Thursday.
Last year, Walmart stopped sales of some types of ammunition that can be used in assault-style weapons, and those used in handguns. This followed shootings, including an assault at one of its stores in Texas, that left 22 dead.
It stopped selling assault-style weapons in 2015.