Walmart Will Raise Gun Buying Age To 21 and Ban Sale of Toys That Resemble Assault Rifles

Walmart announced that it will raise the age of those who can purchase firearms at its stores to 21. The company also said it will ban toys and items that resemble assault rifles in the wake of the Valentine's Day Parkland, Florida high school massacre

"In light of recent events, we've taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age," Walmart said in a statement, adding that it would work to implement the change in stores as soon as possible.

"We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys," the statement continued. "Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way."

Walmart has 4,761 locations in the United States alone. The statement did not say if the company would raise the age for purchasing guns in Sam's Club stores. The company banned the sale of assault rifles, like the AR-15, in 2015.

The news of the retailer raising the age restriction for firearms purchasers follows a Wednesday announcement from Dick's Sporting Goods banning the sale of assault rifles in its stores.

"As we looked at what happened down in Parkland, [Florida] we were so disturbed and saddened by what happened, we felt we really needed to do something," Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack told "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos Wednesday morning.

The changes were made in response to the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School which resulted in the deaths of 17 students and faculty. Gunman Nikolas Cruz legally purchased an AR-15 assault rifle in 2017 when he was just 18 years old.

On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott said he would back legislation in the state to raise the minimum age of purchasing a rifle from 18 to 21. This change would have prevented Cruz from purchasing the deadly weapon. However, since 2009, two mass shootings were committed using a semi-automatic rifle.