Three Democratic senators are asking a major supermarket chain to stop allowing people to openly carry firearms in their stores.
Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Tuesday wrote to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen to warn that Kroger's current policy has led some people to display a wide range of weapons in Kroger stores.
"As you know, gun extremists in several states have exploited the current Kroger policy by flaunting assault rifles as they shopped," they wrote. "These bizarre displays must be terrifying for Kroger employees and customers."
"There is simply no reason why someone would need an AK-47 to purchase milk, bread, or other basic necessities at a grocery store," they added. "However, the current Kroger policy allows for these demonstrations."
The senators said a decision by Kroger to change its policy on open carry would follow similar actions by other national chains, including Target, Chipotle, Starbucks and Panera Bread. But while the senators are asking Kroger to prevent open carry, some of the chains have opted for the middle ground of asking their customers not to bring weapons into their stores.
It was reported in August that the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense would start pressuring Kroger to end its open carry policy in its stores. The Wall Street Journal reported on August 17 that Kroger seemed ready to defend its policy.
"Millions of customers are present in our busy grocery stores every day and we don't want to put our associates in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun," Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey told the Wall Street Journal. "We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores."