Sep 3, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon. Today's PM — edited by Shane Savitsky — is 640 words, a 2.5 minute read.

🎉 100,000 of you have signed up for Kendall Baker's Axios Sports — less than 2 years after he sent the first edition of his "Sports Internet" newsletter to 187 people.

1 big thing: Walmart makes a move on guns
Texas State Police cars block access to the El Paso Walmart in the aftermath of last month's mass shooting. Photo: Andres Leighton/AP

Walmart announced that it will stop selling ammunition used in military-style assault rifles — one month after a gunman killed 22 people in its El Paso, Texas, store.

  • The retailer will also stop selling handgun ammunition nationwide and end the sale of handguns in Alaska, the only state where it sells such firearms.
  • It also requests that shoppers no longer openly carry their guns in its stores in states where it is legal to do so.

Why it matters: Walmart is the world's largest retailer. So while this move is incremental, it’s one of the strongest statements yet from the business community on the issue of gun violence.

What they're saying: CEO Doug McMillon wrote in his note to employees announcing the new policy: "It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable."

  • "We believe these actions will reduce our market share of ammunition from around 20% to a range of approximately 6 to 9%."
  • He also called on government leaders to "strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger."

Last month, McMillon pledged a "thoughtful and deliberate" response in the aftermath of the El Paso shooting, though the company took no immediate steps to alter its gun sales policy.

  • It faced external pressure from 2020 candidates, like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, to stop its gun sales — and saw a walkout by 40 white-collar workers in California, per the Washington Post.

Worth noting, via Axios' Erica Pandey and Courtenay Brown: Despite Walmart's massive footprint, smaller gun shops and gun shows make up a much larger piece of the vendor pie than big retailers do, and a lot of transactions take place in cash — well outside the purview of big business.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images

Conservative MP Phillip Lee theatrically crossed the floor of the House of Commons to sit with the Liberal Democrats on the opposition benches as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke today.

  • Why it matters, per the BBC: Johnson's Conservative Party "no longer has a working majority."

⚠️ Buckle up: Opposition MPs will vote later tonight to seize control of the Commons' business to attempt to pass a cross-party bill to block a no-deal Brexit. That, in turn, would likely force Johnson to call his own vote to try to force a snap general election.

2. What you missed

Views of the destruction and personal misery caused by Hurricane Dorian as the storm passed over Grand Bahama Island. Photos: AP

  1. Hurricane Dorian was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, but the National Hurricane Center says its "combined ... hazards are the same or even worse since [it] has become larger." What you need to know.
  2. The California boat fire is presumed to have killed 34 people, according to officials. Go deeper.
  3. Joe Manchin (D) announced that he will not run for governor of West Virginia and will instead remain in the Senate through 2024. Details.
  4. A top manufacturing index ended a 35-month period of expansion, another dark signal for the U.S. economy. The state of play.
3. 1 🐶🐱 thing

"[P]et euthanasia rates have plummeted in big cities in recent years, falling more than 75 percent since 2009," writes the NY Times' Alicia Parlapiano.

  • Why it matters: "A rescue, an adoption or a return to an owner or community is now a far likelier outcome, a shift that experts say has happened nationwide."

What's happening: "Animal welfare experts tend to agree that since the 1970s, the number of stray animals entering American shelters has decreased sharply — the result of a successful push to promote spaying and neutering of pets."

  • "A recent paper in the journal Animals found that up until about 2010, the drop in shelter euthanasia tracked very closely with the drop in intake. After that, the authors wrote, it appeared that adoptions helped to further drive down euthanasia rates."
Mike Allen