by: Richard Elliot Updated:
Walmart, the world's largest retailer, announced it will not be pulling the type of weapon used in the Newtown school massacre off its shelves, while another major retailer announced it would.
Walmart confirmed Tuesday that it does sell the Bushmaster Sporting Rifle at its stores and plans to continue to do so.
"We have made no changes to the assortment of guns we sell in our stores," Walmart spokesperson Kory Lundberg said in a written statement.
Despite reports that the retail giant had pulled the Bushmaster off its online store, Lundberg said Walmart never sells guns online.
Meanwhile, Dick's Sporting Goods posted a statement saying it would remove all sporting rifles from its stores, at least for now, out of respect for the victims of the Newtown massacre.
"During this time of national mourning, we have ... suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide," said the statement posted to the Dick's website.
Both decisions had supporters and detractors in metro Atlanta.
"It's not the gun's fault," said Tre Wiggins of Marietta. "It's just the same reason that it’s not the car's fault during a drunk driving accident. Will it affect my buying at Dick's Sporting Goods? Probably not, but I'm not a big fan of doing that."
Kathy Knox is a gun owner but thinks Walmart's decision to continue to sell the Bushmaster is the wrong one.
"I hope that Walmart, for instance, and other retailers will decide to pull them as well," said Knox.
Channel 2 Action News also reached out to Bass Pro Shop and Academy Sports to find out their position on the sale of sporting rifles, but had not heard back from them.
The National Rifle Association of America plans to hold a news conference Friday, but in the meantime has released a statement saying, “The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters, and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.
Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.”