Twitter erupted into a heated debate Wednesday evening after Walmart announced it would be implementing changes to its firearm sales policy.
In a public statement, Walmart said it would no longer sell guns to anyone under the age of 21, regardless of state laws.
Walmart has not sold modern sporting rifles like the AR-15 since 2015 when the company made the decision to discontinue those items. The move comes two weeks after the Parkland, Florida school shooting, which sparked an unprecedented level of gun control debate across the country.
On Wednesday morning, Dick's Sporting Goods made a similar announcement, promising to remove assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines from its shelves, and raising its internal purchasing threshold to 21 years old as well. The company's CEO, Edward Stack, confessed to The New York Times that the move was a direct response to the tragedy in Parkland.
However, reducing the number of guns in the country is a solution that's not popular with everyone. Many people on Twitter were outraged to see Walmart making this change. According to CBS News, Walmart is the largest seller of firearms and ammunition in the U.S.
"Gun shops say 'Thank you Wal-Mart, off our turf,'" remarked one user.
Gun shops say "Thank you Wal-Mart, off our turf."— Mark Harmon (@M5Harmon) February 28, 2018
"And gun buyers say 'Damn, that gun was 20% cheaper at WalMart!'" responded another.
And gun buyers say “Damn, that gun was 20% cheaper at WalMart!”— John Fix (@mrfix3) February 28, 2018
The conversation turned repeatedly to other rights that are reserved for people who are 18 years or older, including voting and serving in the military.
"Time to the move the voting age to 21," commented one person.
Time to move the voting age to 21.— aaron cook (@aaronco64507311) February 28, 2018
"Raise the military age to 21 as well then," advised another.
Raise the military age to 21 as well then....................— Louis Greco (@WAY8957NE) February 28, 2018
Conversely, many felt that it's logical to have the age restriction on firearms match the restriction on alcohol.
"Call me naive but to this point 18 yr olds could buy guys at Walmart but not beer?" wrote one user. "And we're praising them for raising the age to 21? Makes sense."
Call me naive but to this point 18 yr olds could buy guns at Walmart but not beer? And we’re praising them for raising the age to 21?— buzzin4real (@GregHullinger) March 1, 2018
Largely, however, the conversation surrounded how conservative and NRA supporters would respond to the corporate move. Many debated the possibility of a conservative boycott of Walmart, mostly in mocking tones. Others discussed the possibility of suing Walmart over age discrimination.
"No store is legally obligated to sell you anything," one user wrote on the subject.
No store is legally obligated to sell you anything. Shouldn't use terms you don't understand.— Max (@mw0rth) March 1, 2018
"Tell that to the bakery who was fined 135 grand after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple," responded another. "You can't have it both ways."
Tell that to the bakery who was fined 135 grand after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. You can’t have it both ways.— Peri Vest (@peri_vest) March 1, 2018