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Montevideo, November 21st 2018 - 01:49 UTC

Two major US retailers announce restrictions on gun sales; Trump tells lawmakers they are petrified of NRA

Thursday, March 1st 2018 - 09:46 UTC
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Walmart later said it was raising the minimum age for anyone buying guns or ammunition to 21 years. Walmart later said it was raising the minimum age for anyone buying guns or ammunition to 21 years.
Dick's Sporting Goods, which has more than 600 shops, said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles, and backed “common sense gun reform”. Dick's Sporting Goods, which has more than 600 shops, said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles, and backed “common sense gun reform”.

Two major US retailers have announced new restrictions on gun sales following the shooting at a Florida school where 17 people died. Dick's Sporting Goods, which has more than 600 shops, said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles, and backed “common sense gun reform”. Walmart later said it was raising the minimum age for anyone buying guns or ammunition to 21 years.

It came as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pupils returned to classes. Grief counselors were on hand as students and teachers arrived at the campus, two weeks after 17 of their peers were shot dead by an expelled former student with an AR-15 rifle.

In the aftermath of the 14 February shooting, pressure has mounted on US politicians to act on gun control and for corporations to cut ties with the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA). Firms including Hertz Car rental, United Airlines and Delta Airlines have ended discounts to NRA members.

Walmart, the largest seller of guns in the US, said it would remove items from its website that resembled assault-style rifles. The retailer stopped selling high-powered rifles in its shops in 2015, citing low demand. In a statement, Walmart said: “We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms.”

In Washington, President Donald Trump urged a group of lawmakers with diverse views to come up with a comprehensive bipartisan solution in a televised meeting.

Republican leaders in Congress have rejected raising the minimum legal age to buy rifles from 18 to 21, but Mr Trump said he “would give pretty serious thought to it”, despite opposition from the NRA, which supported him as a candidate.

He told the lawmakers: “Some of you people are petrified of the NRA, you can't be petrified.”

Dick's CEO Edward Stack told CNN he expected a backlash from some customers, saying “the hunt business is an important part of the business, no doubt about it”.

The Parkland shooting suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, bought a gun at Dick's but not the weapon he is alleged to have used in the attack, Mr Stack said. “We did everything by the book, and we did everything that the law required, and he was still able to buy a gun,” he told ABC.

Categories: Politics, United States.

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