Walmart to stop selling short-barrel rifle ammunition

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Walmart Inc said on Tuesday it would discontinue sales of some ammunition in stores across the United States, in response to the mass shootings in Texas last month that killed several people.

The largest U.S. arms retailer also said it would discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, the only state where it sells these guns.

Walmart will stop selling short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber after clearing current stock. While this type of ammunition is commonly used in some hunting rifles, they are also used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons, the company said.

Sales of handgun ammunition will also be discontinued, it said. 

RELATED: Take a look at the states with the toughest gun laws: 

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States with the toughest gun laws

24. Indiana

Grade: D-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

T-23. North Carolina

Grade: D-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)

T-23. New Hampshire

Grade: D

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

T-21. Virginia

Grade: D

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

T-21. Ohio

Grade: D

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

20. Nebraska

Grade: D

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

19. Wisconsin

Grade: C-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo by John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images)

18. Nevada

Grade: C-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

T-16. Michigan

Grade: C

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

T-16. Iowa

Grade: C

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

15. Oregon

Grade: C

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

14. Colorado

Grade: C

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo)

13. Pennsylvania

Grade: C

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

12. Minnesota

Grade: C+

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via AOL)

11. Delaware

Grade: B

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

10. Washington

Grade: B

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

9. Rhode Island

Grade: B+

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel via Getty Images)

8. Illinois

Grade: B+

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via REUTERS/Jim Young)

7. Hawaii

Grade: A-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

T-5. New York

Grade: A-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

T-5. Maryland

Grade: A-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

4. Massachusetts

Grade: A-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

3. New Jersey

Grade: A-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo by Mark Makela for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

2. Connecticut

Grade: A-

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo via Getty Images)

1. California

Grade: A

Source: gunlawscorecard.org

(Photo credit MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

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The retailer, which has been under pressure to change its policies on gun sales, said it took the action following the death of 31 people in mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, one of which took place in a Walmart store.

Just last month, Walmart asked employees at its U.S. stores to take down signs and playable demos of violent video games, but made no changes to its policy on selling firearms.

"As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same," Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in a letter to Walmart's associates.

The retailer, however, said it would continue to cater to hunting and sport shooting enthusiasts, selling long barrel deer rifles and shotguns.

The company added that its latest actions would reduce its market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of about 6% to 9%.

"We believe it will likely drift toward the lower end of that range, over time, given the combination of these changes," McMillon said. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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