Weeks after two Walmart stores became the scenes of deadly shootings, employees and customers continued to urge the retailer to overhaul its gun policies.

On Tuesday, Walmart category specialist Thomas Marshall sent a petition to Chief Executive Doug McMillon calling on the retailer to stop all sales of firearms and ammunition, ban the public from carrying firearms into stores and end all donations to NRA-backed politicians. The petition had grown by Wednesday morning to more than 129,160 signatures, signaling sustained pressure on one of the nation’s largest retailers of firearms and ammunition.

“Customers no longer feel as safe as they once did in our stores,” Marshall wrote in a note to McMillon. “We must do more. We have the power to do more.”

Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the petition. A company spokesman told Business Insider that “with more than 1 million associates and millions more customers, we’re listening to a wide range of perspectives and views.” Walmart has said it has no plans to stop selling guns or ammunition after the recent shootings.

Despite its growing number of signatures, the petition also drew consternation. Comments posted to the Change.org Web page included calls to fire any employee who participated in a walkout, and arguments that Walmart’s policies alone are not enough to end the shootings.

Marshall had helped organize a walkout two weeks ago of roughly 40 white-collar Walmart employees in San Bruno, California. Workers at Walmart’s e-commerce offices in Portland, Oregon, and Brooklyn also pressed the company to stop selling firearms and end donations to politicians who receive funding from the National Rifle Association.


Workers “no longer want to be complicit by working for a company that profits off the sale of firearms,” Marshall said at the time. An operations manager who joined the protest said he believes in the Second Amendment but that, “I don’t understand how that has included weapons of mass destruction” like assault rifles. The employee, Tom Misner, said Walmart should use its influence to lobby Congress for better gun control laws. “Congress will not do anything,” he said.

Earlier this month, a gunman killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Just days before, two Walmart employees were fatally shot at a store in Southaven, Mississippi. A former employee was charged in that shooting.

Walmart sells guns in roughly half of its 4,750 U.S. stores. The company stopped selling handguns in 1993 and phased out assault-style rifles in 2015. Last year, after 17 students and teachers were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Walmart raised the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, another major gun retailer, also changed its sales policies, ending the sale of assault-style weapons and banning high-capacity magazines and “bump stocks” that could effectively convert semiautomatic weapons into machine guns. Dick’s also announced it would not sell firearms to people under 21.

Employees at major tech and retail companies have increasingly spoken out against corporate policies in the past few years. Amazon, Google and Microsoft workers, for example, have urged their executives to stop selling facial recognition technology and other services to law enforcement agencies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

And in June, hundreds of Wayfair employees walked out to protest the sale of $200,000 worth of furniture to a Texas detention center that houses migrant children.

The Washington Post’s Abha Bhattarai contributed to this report.

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