Supermarket giant Kroger has followed suit of their competitor Walmart in asking shoppers to not to openly carry guns when visiting its stores.
The store made the request Tuesday, Sept. 3, just hours after Walmart made the same request and announced their decision to discontinue the sales of certain gun ammunition.
Walmart also announced that its last remaining stores situated in Alaska would now stop their handgun sales. Walmart stopped selling handguns in the mid-1990s, except for Alaska. The latest move marks their complete exit from that business side and allows them to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only.
“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores,” Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement.
The request from Kroger applies to customers, even in states where open carry is allowed. However, the stores are said to be making an exception for law enforcement officers.
The Ohio-based company (Kroger) said they made a decision to exit the firearm and ammunition business a year ago and subsequently stopped selling them in their Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest. This decision was made after the Florida Parkland Shooting.
“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,” Adelman said in the statement.
Both companies are also calling on the government to strengthen background checks.
“In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again,” according to a memo by Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon circulated to employees Tuesday afternoon, “the status quo is unacceptable.”
Although Kroger and Walmart have made a significant stance in their views of gun control in response to recent events; the NRA has come back with spouting second amendment rights.
“It is shameful to see @Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms,” tweeted the NRA on the decision made by the big retailers.
“Walmart deserves enormous credit for joining the strong and growing majority of Americans who know that we have too many guns in our country and they are too easy to get,” Igor Volsky, Executive Director and founder of Guns Down America, said in a statement.
“That work doesn’t end with Walmart’s decision today. As Congress comes back to consider gun violence, Walmart should make it clear that it stands with Americans who are demanding real change,” Volsky added.
Other retailers like Starbucks, Target, and Wendy’s have made similar requests in recent years.