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Business Insider reports that Walmart has come out in favor of a Congressional debate about “the effectiveness of an assault-weapons ban.”

"We made our own decision about MSRs [modern sporting rifles] several years ago when we removed that category from our stores, and we believe it's time for Congress to debate that issue as well," Dan Bartlett, executive vice president of corporate affairs for Walmart, said. "And we will lend our perspective and support as somebody who's been a firearms dealer for more than 20 years.”

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon put it this way: “We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness in keeping weapons made for war out of the hands of mass murderers. We must also do more to understand the root causes that lead to this type of violent behavior.”

The Walmart comments come in the wake of a recent mass shooting in one of its stores, in El Paso, Texas, which resulted in the deaths of 22 people.

The Business Insider story notes that “Walmart also revealed Thursday that it accounts for 2% of gun sales in the US and 20% of ammunition sales.”

TechCrunch reports that “Walmart’s relationship with Instacart deepened today with an expansion of their partnership across Canada for grocery delivery. Walmart Canada had previously run a 17-store pilot program with Instacart, starting last September, in both the Greater Toronto area and Winnipeg. With the expansion, Walmart Canada will offer same-day grocery delivery from nearly 200 Walmart stores nationwide … The service is currently live in cities and communities throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the retailer says.”

A thought here. Let’s say you are an Instacart customer. Instacart has all your sales data. Then Walmart, which already has a relationship with the delivery company, decides to buy Instacart. Which means that Walmart has all your sales data … and an ability to grow even more its already impressive footprint in the e-grocery business.

Will this happen? I have no idea. Could it happen? Sure. Should you be concerned? Absolutely.

KC's View: