Retail giant Walmart on Tuesday joined Kroger in restricting shoppers against openly carrying guns in their stores. The new rule will apply to all stores even in states where “open carry” is allowed.

Only law enforcement officers will be exempted from the new directive.

Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs at Kroger, in an e-mailed statement to CNBC, said: “Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers.”

After last year’s Parkland shooting in Florida, Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores in Pacific North-West stopped selling firearms to buyers under 21 and that made big Kroger news in retail circles.

Walmart’s action plan

Walmart’s decision to disallow the open carrying of firearms was communicated by the CEO in an internal memo.

“It's clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo to employees.

The new rule will apply to Walmart’s 4,700 US stores, or Sam's Club stores.

McMillon said Walmart's changes were influenced by the mass shooting incidents at El Paso, Texas, and those in Dayton, Ohio, Midland and Odessa, Texas.

Walmart said it would continue to allow concealed carry by customers with permits in its stores.

As part of the new policy to reduce gun sales, Walmart will also stop selling handgun ammunition and “short-barrel rifle ammunition” after the current inventory gets over.

The latter includes the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used on assault-style weapons.

According to Walmart news, the sale of handguns in Alaska will also be stopped. Alaska is the only state where Walmart sells handguns.

Balancing safety and consumer interest

Explaining the rationale of the new move, Walmart said it is trying to balance customers “who are part of our customer base with the safety issue in stores.”

Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president of corporate affairs told reporters: “We feel like we are striking a responsible balance between the interests of law-abiding citizens who are exercising their legal rights and the safety concerns of our associates and customers.”

However, Walmart will continue to sell long barrel deer rifles and shotguns and much of their ammunition.

Market share in gun sales will be reduced

Walmart recently said it is not among the top three gun sellers in the industry and its market share is about 20 percent.

The Walmart logo is seen on a store in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2019. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

According to McMillon, Walmart's new gun sale policies will reduce the market share to an average of 8 percent.

‘We believe it will likely drift toward the lower end of that range, over time, given the combination of these changes,” he said.

McMillon also said he would write letters to the White House and congressional leaders urging “call for action” and “common sense” gun safety measures.

“We encourage our nation's leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” the Walmart official said.

Meanwhile, the Trump news on gun control measures included a reported move by the Trump Administration to bring legislation that would expedite the death penalty for people guilty of mass killings.

This was hinted by Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff while talking to reporters.