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Walmart removes guns, ammunition from store displays ahead of election amid concerns of civil unrest

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Election 2020: Americans worried about response to election results

Here are the biggest takeaways from a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, taken after the final presidential debate.

Walmart has pulled guns and ammunition from its sales floors ahead of the election, company officials confirmed to USA TODAY.

The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said the retailer was looking to head off any potential theft of firearms if stores are broken into amid any civil unrest caused by the upcoming presidential election on Tuesday.

“We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” Walmart said in a statement to USA TODAY. “These items do remain available for purchase by customers.”

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USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll: Ahead of Election Day, 3 of 4 voters worry about violence in a divided nation

Walmart sells firearms in about half of its 4,700 stores.

A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll found Americans are increasingly worried about what will happen as this year’s tumultuous election comes to a conclusion next week, including whether the voting will be peaceful and the outcome broadly accepted.

Three of 4 voters express concern about the possibility of violence on Election Day. Only 1 in 4 say they are “very confident” that the nation will have a peaceful transfer of power if Democratic challenger Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump. 

Walmart has taken actions to curtail the sale of ammunition and guns over the years. In the early 1990s, the retailer stopped selling handguns. They’re only available for sale in Alaska. In 2015, it halted sales of modern sporting rifles, and three years later it prohibited sales of firearms to anyone under 21.

Driven by a combination of social unrest fears and the prospects of a Democratic sweep that might lead to stricter gun laws, gunmakers have seen their stock prices trade higher.

Contributing: Susan Page, Sarah Elbeshbish, Charisse Jones and Michael Braga, USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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