Retail giant Walmart is receiving fierce criticism on social media after a photo surfaced Wednesday afternoon that appears to show a gun case with a back-to-school advertisement inside one of the company’s stores.
The image was first tweeted by Twitter user Ismail Kidd Noorzai, who identifies himself as a resident of Los Angeles. The user originally captioned the photo, which shows a case of rifles with a sign reading “Own the school year like a hero,” simply, “Oh, Walmart.”
A response from a Walmart representative on Twitter identified the store where the display allegedly took place as Store No. 1,341, which is located in Evansville, Indiana. However, a Walmart spokesperson told CNN Money that the earlier indications that the company knew where the sign was located were false and that Walmart was still working to identify the store and remove the sign.
“We incorrectly identified the Evansville store,” the spokesperson also told Talking Points Memo. “We’ve corrected that and are now trying to find the accurate store.”
Contradicting previous tweets, the spokesperson also told both outlets that the company has ensured the sign was taken down.
Since then, the company has replied to angry customers and commenters on social media, calling the sign unacceptable and referring to it as a “regrettable situation.”
Walmart has fiercely resisted calls by some activists to stop selling guns in its stores. While the company decided in 1993 to stop selling handguns, it has continued to sell rifles for sport and hunting, according to CNN. According to a 2013 article from Time, Walmart sells guns in 1,700 to 1,800 of its 4,000 stores in the U.S. and is likely the single biggest firearms seller in the country. Previously, the company had cut back on the number of locations where guns are available, before reversing that decision in 2011, per the Wall Street Journal.
Pushes for Walmart to drop its gun sales have often coincided with mass shootings, especially after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, and critics were quick to draw a connection Wednesday with the display’s back-to-school theme.