Semi-Automatic Rifles Selling Fast at Walmart

Bloomberg reports they're out of stock in some states
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 7:27 PM CST
Semi-Automatic Rifles Selling Fast at Walmart
This 2006 file photo shows a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and ammunition on display at Seattle police headquarters. It was the type used by the Sandy Hook shooter.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The decision by Dick's Sporting Goods to suspend sales of "modern sporting rifles"—industry vernacular for weapons similar to M-16s—might be paying off for Walmart. Bloomberg reports that the semi-automatic weapons are out of stock at many Walmarts across the country, including those in Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Alabama. Walmart sells about 10 types of the rifles, though it removed a description and photo of the Bushmaster AR-15—the gun used at Sandy Hook Elementary—from its online store after the shootings.

Guns are big money-makers at Walmart, but the chain doesn't disclose exact numbers. (One of its Black Friday sales was $50 off a Sig Sauer M400, putting it at $867.) In addition to the surging gun sales, Bloomberg says prices of handgun magazines are rising quickly on eBay. Four Glock magazines were going for $118 today, up from $45 the day before the shooting. Shooter Adam Lanza had a Glock with him, too. Two related stories:

  • The Daily Beast is collecting responses to a simple query: "Why do you own a gun? And if you don’t own a gun, why not?" It's turning out to be an interesting forum for both sides.
  • The Nation has a piece headlined "How Walmart Helped Make Newtown Shooter's AR-15 the Most Popular Assault Weapon in America."
(More gun sales stories.)

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