Lansing, MI – The Kroger grocery chain is asking customers no longer openly carry guns in its stores even if the states allow it, the company announced Tuesday.
The announcement was followed up by similar announcements from Walgreens, Wegmans, and CVS.
Kroger made its announcement within hours after Walmart asked its customers not to open carry in its stores, according to WILX.
Kroger and Walmart are the country’s two largest grocery chains and both are asking for tougher background checks to buy guns, according to the Washington Post.
“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, told CNBC. “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.”
“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,” Adelman told CNBC. “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.”
Kroger has about 2,800 stores in 35 states and has annual sales of $121.1 billion, according to its website.
The Washington Post reported that California, Florida, Illinois and Washington, D.C. “generally bar people” from open carrying guns in public. The rest of the states do allow some form of open carrying, the Washington Post reported.
The standards for what licenses and the type of guns allowed to be carried openly in public can vary state to state, according to the Washington Post.
None of the companies made mention of prohibiting concealed carry, but it remains to be seen of the companies will have signs prohibiting firearms.