Walgreens Bans Openly Carrying Firearms In Its Stores

by Valerie Williams
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walgreens, the nation’s second biggest pharmacy, will no longer allow open carry in its stores

Walgreens is the latest company to join an ever-growing list of retailers that will no longer allow people to open carry firearms in their stores. This time, there was acknowledgement that it was pressure from a grassroots organization of moms that motivated the change in policy.

The pharmacy chain joins Walmart, Kroger, CVS, and Wegmans this week in making the choice to stop allowing customers to open carry firearms in their stores. The company credits Moms Demand Action, a group that actively works for common sense public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence, with the move.

In a statement, the second largest pharmacy in the country says, “We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials.”

While it’s beyond encouraging and a huge relief to see these big-name stores taking meaningful action against gun violence, it’s also perplexing that our nation’s lawmakers apparently don’t feel the need to enact the laws themselves. The fact that we will only been made safer while out in public because companies have decided that enough is enough is not only sad, it’s infuriating.

The refusal of those in charge to do what needs to be done only means that our nation is faced with one mass shooting and totally preventable gun violence incident after another. Just in the last few months, we’ve watched El Paso, Odessa, Dayton, Gilroy and other U.S. cities grapple with tragic losses of life. All because our country flat-out refuses to protect its own citizens when it comes to passing common sense gun legislation like stronger background checks and loophole laws.

Meanwhile, the work of Moms Demand continues to produce serious results. Founder Shannon Watts tweeted yesterday asking Walgreens, Wegmans, and CVS to follow the lead of Walmart and Kroger in not allowing open carry in their stores.

Within a day, they all took action. “There’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers & employees. The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don’t want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans. For this reason, we prefer that customers not openly carry firearms into our stores,” Wegmans announced.

A statement from CVS read, in part, “We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”

Before the companies shared their decision, Watts pointed out that they’d be joining a pretty long list of other large companies that made the decision to put safety first and ask customers to not open carry in their establishments.

We hope other companies continue to join the list of those who have had enough of the needless loss of life — but better yet, we hope lawmakers are paying attention too.