The Kroger announcement came on the same day that Walmart ended open carry and stopped selling ammunition
Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, just announced that it will no longer allow shoppers to open carry guns in any of its stores. The announcement came Tuesday, the same day that Walmart also asked its customers to stop openly carrying guns in its stores. Walmart also announced that they would stop selling certain guns and ammunition after current stocks sell out.
Both retailers are among the largest in the country, and this move comes after weeks of pressure following two mass shootings at Walmart stores in Texas and Mississippi that left 24 total people dead. In a statement, Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs at Kroger, explained the reasoning behind the new ban on open carry.
“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. We have 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,” she said.
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
The statement continued on to say that Kroger will join those who are asking legislators to write and pass gun reform laws that strengthen background checks and curb gun violence in the U.S.
“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms in our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” it said. “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.”
Kroger’s decision comes after the chain was the target of a Moms Demand ad campaign that put pressure on them to stop allowing open carry in their stores.
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 group also held rallies at Kroger stores and attended the company’s shareholder meetings. They say their action was in response to dozens of shootings and shooting threats that took place at Kroger’s stores in recent years.
Kroger is the second largest retailer in the country and the nation’s largest supermarket retailer. In addition to numerous open carry incidents at several Kroger locations, there were also dozens of shootings and threats at stores across the country.https://t.co/l65TP7BKZG— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 3, 2019
As mass shootings continue to happen in the U.S., it’s clear that people are getting fed up with having to live with the constant anxiety that comes with not knowing when or where the next shooting will occur. These moves by Walmart and Kroger are proof that if we make our voices loud enough in saying we’ve had enough with gun violence, action will happen. Now we just need to get our lawmakers to start listening.