In the wake of multiple mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the grocery chains have announced that customers are not allowed to openly carry firearms at their outlets.
Following 283 mass shootings this year, grocery chain Kroger has joined Walmart in asking its customers not to openly carry firearms at its stores. "Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are also joining those encouraging our elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence.” Most states across the country allow some form of open carrying, but standards pertaining to the kinds of firearms that can be carried as well as license requirements vary from state to state.
Kroger is requesting customers no longer openly carry firearms into its stores, even in states where open carry is legal, the company announced Tuesdayhttps://t.co/EMdQcAjz7B pic.twitter.com/0g7RpPAUdx— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) September 3, 2019
Kroger's announcement came mere hours after a similar statement by Walmart, but the latter has also announced that it will stop selling ammunition for military-style weapons and complete its exit from the handgun business. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon noted that the store wouldn’t change its policy and approach regarding concealed-carry permits. McMillion also said that Walmart will gear its focus toward long-barrel deer rifles and shotguns, supplying the ammunition required, and providing hunting and sporting accessories and apparel. "We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we're going to continue doing so," the CEO said, according to Fox News.
In 2014, we launched a campaign asking Kroger to prohibit open carry inside its chain of stores. Today, Kroger announced that customers will be asked to stop openly carrying guns in stores.— Moms Demand Action (@MomsDemand) September 4, 2019
Thanks to all who lent their voices to this campaign, and to @Kroger for listening! pic.twitter.com/qW1IMG4wfh
Kroger announced that they would not sell firearms to people below the age of 21 in the wake of the Parkland school shooting in 2018, and then decided to stop selling guns and ammunition altogether. In the recent statement to CNBC, Adelman said, “A year ago, Kroger made the conscious decision to completely exit the firearm and ammunition business when we stopped selling them in our Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest. Kroger has demonstrated with our actions that we recognize the growing chorus of Americans who are no longer comfortable with the status quo and who are advocating for concrete and common-sense gun reforms.”
These are some of the ads @momsdemand created as part of our campaign to get Kroger to prohibit open carry. In addition, we held rallies at their stores and attended shareholder meetings. pic.twitter.com/rq7RG80Men— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 3, 2019
The move has been slammed by gun-toting conservatives, and the National Rifle Association has made a scathing statement about Walmart's decision to disallow open carry, saying that it's "shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites." A statement by the NRA says, "Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms. "The truth is Walmart’s actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans." The NRA has not yet commented on Kroger's announcement.
Following Walmart’s move earlier Tuesday, Kroger says it will end open carry in stores. Unclear how it’ll enforce the policy. pic.twitter.com/h3IrBnwEdt— Nathaniel Meyersohn (@nmeyersohn) September 3, 2019
Kroger is currently the second-largest grocery chain in the US. It operates nearly 2,800 grocery stores in 35 states, many of which also include an on-site pharmacy and jewelry stores.