Four Democratic Candidates Call on Walmart to Stop Selling Guns

FORT DODGE, Iowa — At least four Democratic presidential candidates called on Walmart on Friday to stop selling guns after the mass shooting at one of the company’s stores in El Paso last weekend.

“The weapons they sell are killing their own customers and employees,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wrote on Twitter on Friday morning. “No profit is worth those lives. Do the right thing — stop selling guns.”

Later in the morning, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont echoed that call, pointing to Walmart employees who have objected to the company’s continued sale of guns.

“Walmart should respect the voices of its workers who are calling on the company to stop selling guns,” Mr. Sanders said. “I agree. This is exactly why I believe workers deserve representation on their board, so that their views are heeded.”

Walmart is the largest seller of guns in the United States, though it has gradually limited the types of firearms it offers in its stores.

It stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015, citing lower consumer demand. It sells handguns in only one state, Alaska. And after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., last year, it raised the minimum age for gun buyers at its stores to 21, regardless of local laws.

The gunman at the El Paso store, who the authorities say killed 22 people, was carrying an AK-style assault rifle.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey said Friday that the company was uniquely positioned to make a difference.

“Walmart should use its power to stop selling guns in its stores until politicians and gun manufacturers get their act together and raise the standard for gun ownership in this country,” Mr. Booker said.

Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and mayor of San Antonio, criticized Walmart’s plan to remove advertisements for violent video games and said it should stop selling guns instead.

A Walmart spokesman declined to comment on the candidates’ statements but said the company was reviewing its policies.

Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Castro are among the candidates scheduled to speak at a forum on gun safety on Saturday in Des Moines, sponsored by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Ms. Warren, who has stood out in the Democratic primary race for her large collection of policy plans, will unveil a proposal on gun control on Saturday, according to her campaign.

Speaking to reporters in Iowa on Thursday, Ms. Warren did not offer up details about her forthcoming plan, saying only that the National Rifle Association was “not going to like it.”

In calling on Walmart to stop selling guns, Ms. Warren wrote that “sometimes, companies recognize that they have an obligation to the lives, health, and safety of their communities.” As an example, she cited CVS’s decision in 2014 to stop selling tobacco products.

“Companies that sell guns,” she wrote, “have a responsibility to the safety of their communities.”

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