Walmart apologizes for ‘truly horrible’ back-to-school gun display


Photo via Jeepers Media/Flickr

Was this real, or was somebody trolling?

It’s back-to-school shopping time for a majority of the country, which means people around the U.S. are streaming into places like Target and Meijer to scoop up their pens, pencils, notebooks, and Trapper Keepers. Walmart, though, apparently has a different idea about what students should be bringing to school (and, for that matter, about what makes a person a hero).

Just check out this sign placement and what resides underneath.

Afterward, @OMGItsBirdman laughed it off, saying he assumed it was a customer prank but then again, “they hire pretty much anyone at Walmart.”

Walmart, though, didn’t think it was funny.

That tweet, though, wasn’t the first time Walmart heard about the signage situation. The chain quickly determined the sign was in Evansville, Indiana—though there’s a question about that now—and the sign apparently was quickly removed.

Still, the person in charge of social media for Walmart had a busy day on Wednesday.

Walmart gun Twitter Photo via Walmart/Twitter

Later, though, Walmart—which came under fired last month for selling a wig cap online that was described in racial terms—seemed not to know which store had displayed the sign.

Though the tweet from @OMGItsBirdman was the one that got the most traction on Twitter (as of this writing, it has about 27,000 retweets and 52,000 likes), Walmart told the Washington Post it’s still trying to find who posted the original photo. The company spokesperson also told the paper that though it’s unclear if the sign was placed there by an employee or a shopper, the photo appears to be legitimate based on the way the store is configured.

Leeanna May told the Post she took the photo and that she was in Evansville when she did it.

“We have already lost so many innocent lives to guns,” she said. “… People don’t seem to honestly care.”

Walmart did not immediately respond to Daily Dot questions about the sign and in which store it was placed.

Update 11:51am CT, Aug. 10: When reached for comment, Walmart directed the Daily Dot to its official statement on the matter.

“What’s seen in this photograph would never be acceptable in our stores. We regret this situation and are looking into how it could have happened.”

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.