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Kroger asks customers to stop carrying guns openly in stores


Supermarket chain is following Walmart's lead

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Kroger joined Walmart in asking its customers to stop carrying firearms openly in stores where states allow open carry.

Walmart announced Tuesday that it would ask its customers to stop carrying guns openly in stores and that it would no longer sell "military-style" rifle ammunition and handgun ammunition.

The stores made the decision after seven people were killed Saturday in a Texas mass killing. The massacre also wounded more than 20 other people. Police killed the suspect in an exchange of gunfire shortly after the incident.

What did Kroger say?

Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs, told CNBC in a statement that stores will ask customers to open carry in Kroger stores.

"Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers," Adelman's statement read. "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."

The statement added that the company recognizes Americans who are "no longer comfortable with the status quo."

"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," the statement added. "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."

The company also announced in 2018 that it would no longer feature magazines that had pictures of "assault-style" weapons in its pages or on its covers.

Anything else?

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Walmart gave TheBlaze more information on its newly announced policy.

"It's not exactly accurate to say open carry is banned, what we are doing is asking people not to do it. We will treat law-abiding customers with respect, and we will have a very non-confrontational approach. Our first priority is safety. We will be providing new signage to help communicate this policy in the coming weeks," the spokesperson said.

"We will respectfully request that they do not carry. The discretion will be given to the store manager," the spokesperson added. "If there is not imminent threat, the SM can ask them to leave the weapon in the vehicle for next time. If the customer is causing concern or fear with customers/associates, the store manager can then approach the customer and/or follow necessary protocols for a potential active shooter. In some states, open carry is very common, so again, some discretion will be given to the store manager."

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