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WATCH: Walmart Is Discontinuing Some Ammo Sales. Here's Why It Matters

Walmart announced Tuesday that it is ending sales of some kinds of ammunition at its stores. The move came in the wake of two deadly shootings at Walmart stores in recent months, including one in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people.

"It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote to employees in a memo posted Tuesday.

The debate over gun control often focuses on guns themselves, but ammunition has played a big role in making recent mass shootings more deadly. Bullets such as the .223-caliber rounds used in some military-style weapons can break bones and damage tissue far from the point of entry. Handgun ammunition such as 9 mm hollow-point bullets are also designed in a way that maximizes damage. Both types of ammunition will be discontinued at Walmart stores.

The above video shows .223-caliber and 9 mm rounds in action. It also shows .22-caliber ammunition of the type used to hunt small game.

Editor's note:Walmart is among NPR's recent sponsors.

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Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.
Meredith Rizzo is a visuals editor and art director on NPR's Science desk. She produces multimedia stories that illuminate science topics through visual reporting, animation, illustration, photography and video. In her time on the Science desk, she's reported from Hong Kong during the early days of the pandemic, photographed the experiences of the first patient to receive an experimental CRISPR treatment for sickle cell disease and covered post-wildfire issues from Australia to California. In 2021, she worked with a team on NPR's Joy Generator, a randomized ideas machine for ways to tap into positive emotions following a year of life in the pandemic. In 2019, she photographed, reported and produced another interactive visual guide exploring how the shape and size of many common grocery store plastics affect their recyclability.
Geoff Brumfiel works as a senior editor and correspondent on NPR's science desk. His editing duties include science and space, while his reporting focuses on the intersection of science and national security.