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Kroger Co. raises minimum age to purchase firearms to 21 at its Fred Meyer stores
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Kroger Co. raises minimum age to purchase firearms to 21 at its Fred Meyer stores

The Kroger Company joined the ranks of Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods in changing the minimum age to purchase all firearms to 21 years old in its Fred Meyer stores.

Fred Meyer is a superstore chain owned by Kroger that has roots in the Pacific Northwest. Kroger operates 133 Fred Meyer stores in the U.S., and made the announcement that it will stop selling firearms and ammunition to those under 21.

A representative for Kroger told Reuters, "Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers."

"In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we've taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales," Kroger added in a statement obtained by CNN Money.

The company also noted that it has plans to scale back gun departments in some Fred Meyer stores "due to softer demand and changing customer preferences."

"We believe these are common sense steps we can take immediately that are in line with our values and our vision," the company explained.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Fred Meyer has guns for sale in 44 stores, including some in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington.

The store stopped selling "assault-style" firearms everywhere except in Alaska several years ago, and at the time of this writing, the orders for those weapons are currently unavailable in Alaska.

What did Walmart and Dick's do?

Walmart announced its new age restrictions on gun sales Wednesday.

A portion of the statement shared on Walmart's website read, "In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change."

Dick's Sporting Goods made a similar announcement Wednesday, but took it a step further in revealing that the sporting goods store would no longer carry "assault-style" rifles in its inventory, nor would it sell high-capacity magazines.

"When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset," CEO Edward Stack said. "We love these kids and their rallying cry, 'enough is enough.' It got to us. We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation."

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