Photo by: BBB/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 10/30/20 Walmart to return firearms to the sales floor today as social unrest remains …
Walmart is returning firearms to the sales floor as social unrest remains 'geographically isolated.'

NEW YORK - Walmart Inc said on Friday it had begun returning firearms and ammunitions to the floors of its U.S. stores a day after the world's largest retailer said it had removed these products to protect customers and employees as tensions across the country rise.

"After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores ... we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor .... As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today," the company said.

A Walmart spokesperson declined to comment on why the decision to place firearms and ammunition back on U.S. store floors was made days before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3, with many worried that the result could be contested or spark violence.

Gun control advocates criticized the move on social media, saying they were "disappointed" and "surprised" by the news and that it was a "huge mistake."

Retailers have been on edge after people earlier this year smashed windows, stole merchandise and, at times, set stores ablaze in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Portland and other U.S. cities. In another trend that has fed concern, gun sales in the United States this year have reached record highs, and more first-time buyers have purchased firearms in recent months.

Shares of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, which sells firearms in approximately half of its more than 5,000 U.S. stores, were trading roughly flat after the bell.

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.