Walmart Apologizes for Back-to-School Sign Over Rifle Display; Officials Trying to Determine Who’s Responsible

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Walmart officials are still investigating where the photo was taken. (Image courtesy of Twitter)

Walmart has apologized for a display inside one of its stores that appeared to market firearms as back-to-school items.

A photo showing an inappropriately placed sign that reads “Own the School Year Like a Hero” located directly above a glass case filled with guns went viral on social media Wednesday, Aug. 9, sparking outrage and backlash from concerned customers. Several people wanted answers from the retail giant — and fast.

The company quickly issued an apology on Twitter, saying the sign had been removed.

“This was a terrible error,” the company tweeted. “We are working to identify the store involved.”

There seemed to be some confusion within the company’s management, however, as Walmart initially identified a store in Evansville, Ind., as the source of the photographed display, Huff Post reported. Walmart spokesman Charles Crowson later clarified that that was a mistake, and that officials were still trying to figure out where the photo was taken, if the sign was removed — and if it even existed in the first place. There was some speculation that the picture may have been doctored.

Though Walmart officials scratched the Indiana store off its list, Leeanna May, who told The Washington Post she snapped the now-viral photo, maintained that the “disgusting” display was at a location in Evansville.

“We have already lost so many innocent lives to guns,” she said, adding that she made the immediate connection between guns and school shootings when she saw the display. “People don’t seem to honestly care.”

May told the paper she alerted store employees, but they couldn’t locate a store manager. It’s still unclear if the sign was placed there by a customer or an employee as a “joke.”

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

The unfortunate sign placement fiasco comes just a month after Walmart suffered severe backlash when a third-party merchant used a racial slur to sell a wig cap on the retailer’s website. The color of the cap was described as “n—– brown.”

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