RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The American Federation of Teachers, which represent nearly two million members, is calling on Walmart to stop selling guns.
After shots rang out at Walmart stores killing two employees in Southaven Mississippi and days later in El Paso, Texas killing 22 people, the country’s largest retailer is under fire from one of the largest teachers’ unions.
“How many more horrible, heinous killing of innocent people does America have to go through?” Says Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers.
Randi Weingarten is calling on Walmart to take guns off store shelves, “Banning the selling of guns until there was a different standard,” Says Weingarten.
She’s pushing for legislation like universal background checks. She says if Walmart acted, Congress would follow the company’s lead.
“You don’t think that Congress would move more quickly? That gun manufacturers would move more quickly? There would be enough pressure on the system to actually get these bills passed,” Says Weingarten.
Walmart has responded to gun violence in the past, the company removed assault rifles from store shelves after the Sandy Hook elementary school murders and raised its minimum purchasing age after the Parkland, Florida high school shootings.
But Walmart has stopped short of removing all guns from its stores. Following the latest shootings Walmart has announced it will no longer display violent video games.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote in a memo to employees, “We will work to understand the many important issues that arise from El Paso and Southaven, as well as those that have been raised in the broader national discussion around gun violence.”
Weingarten has yet to hear from Walmart.
Other groups like Guns Down have joined the American Federation of Teachers push.
Walmart has offered a statement saying, “We respect and value that our teachers across the country provide and we’ve always been supportive of them.”