More than 85,000 people are asking Walmart to stop selling assault weapons in the wake of the Connecticut shooting that killed 26 people last month.
The petition, on action.SomeOfUs.org, urges Walmart to stop selling the Bushmaster AR-15 -- the high-powered rifle linked to the Newtown shooting -- as well other assault weapons. Walmart pulled the listing Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine M4A3 Rifle from its webstore very shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting, but the company still sold similar rifles in 1,200 of its stores as of December 19, according to Bloomberg.
Walmart is the largest seller of guns and ammunition in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal. The retailer didn't immediately return a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
Walmart brought guns back to almost half of its stores in 2011, the WSJ reported at the time, after the chain pulled them from its shelves in all but a third of its stores in 2006. Bloomberg reported five days after the Newtown shooting that assault rifles appeared to be out of stock at Walmart stores in five states.
Walmart isn’t the only place where enthusiasts are going to buy guns; sales across the country have surged in the wake of the Connecticut shooting as gun users race to stock up. Background checks for guns jumped to a record number in December, according to FBI data. (It’s common for gun sales to increase after mass shootings, as enthusiasts race to buy them for self-defense or out of concern that lawmakers will put stricter gun controls in place.)
Still, the Sandy Hook massacre prompted some retailers to pull some of their gun offerings. Dick’s Sporting Goods halted the sale of semi-automatic rifles four days after the shooting “out of respect for the victims and their families.”
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Wayne LaPierre, National Rifle Association CEO
<a href="http://meetthenra.org/nra-member/Wayne%20LaPierre">Wayne LaPierre</a> is executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the gun industry's top lobbying organization.
Stephen Feinberg, Cerberus Capital CEO
Stephen Feinberg is CEO of Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/school-shooter-adam-lanza_n_2312818.html">owns Freedom Group</a>, <a href="http://www.freedom-group.com/">the country's largest gun manufacturer</a> and owner of the Bushmaster brand. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/cerberus-capital-freedom-group-gun-manufacturer_n_2321258.html?1355834061">Cerberus announced on Tuesday</a> that it plans to sell its stake in Freedom Group. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/school-shooter-adam-lanza_n_2312818.html">Adam Lanza</a>, 20, used a Bushmaster rifle to murder 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Friday.
George Kollitides, Freedom Group CEO
<a href="http://georgekollitides.com/">George Kollitides</a> <a href="http://www.freedom-group.com/press.htm">is CEO</a> of <a href="http://www.freedom-group.com/">Freedom Group</a>, the country's largest gun manufacturer, which owns Bushmaster.
P. James Debney, Smith & Wesson CEO
<a href="http://ir.smith-wesson.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=90977&p=irol-govmanage">P. James Debney</a> is president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, a major U.S. gun manufacturer.
William M. Keys, Colt's CEO
Lt. General <a href="http://www.coltsmfg.com/Company/History.aspx">William M. Keys</a> has served as <a href="http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=30194079">CEO</a> of Colt's Manufacturing Company, a major gun manufacturer, since 1999.
C. Michael Jacobi, Sturm, Ruger & Co. Chairman
<a href="http://www.ruger.com/corporate/S-BOD-Jacobi.html">C. Michael Jacobi</a> is chairman of <a href="http://www.ruger.com/corporate/BOD.html">Sturm, Ruger, & Co.</a>, a major gun manufacturer.
Walter McLallen, Marlin Firearms Chairman
<a href="http://www.marlinfirearms.com/News/press.asp">Walter McLallen</a> is chairman of Marlin Firearms, a major gun manufacturer, which is owned by Freedom Group.
John DeSantis, Bushmaster Firearms President*
<a href="http://www.bushmaster.com/press-release-071410.asp">John DeSantis is apparently still president of Bushmaster Firearms</a>, which is owned by Freedom Group. *Though the company announced his intention to resign in 2010, it has not publicly named a successor and would not return HuffPost's request for comment.