CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 12: Customers shop at an Aldi grocery store on June 12, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Aldi has announced plans to open 900 new stores in the United States in the next five years. The $3.4 billion capital investment would create 25,000 jobs and make the grocery chain the third largest in the nation behind Wal-Mart and Kroger. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in the world and based on revenue, an estimated $119 billion in 2017 sales, they are the third largest retailer in the world, only behind Costco and Walmart. For years, gun reform advocates have been asking the grocery chain to ban open carry guns. It appears the public pressure and the recent rash of mass shootings has motivated Kroger executives to do an about-face on the issue, saying they are asking customers to stop carrying guns into their stores.
Kroger’s new policy comes on the heels of a similar announcement from Walmart. The grocery retailer also joins Walmart in calling on Congress to act.
“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, said in an emailed statement.
“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.”
Shannon Watts and the Moms Demand group began ratcheting up public pressure five years ago. As Watts noted on Twitter, it was five years ago this week.
Even NASCAR is pulling back when it comes to guns. They reportedly rejected assault weapons advertisements from gun and gun accessory (like silencers) manufacturer K-Var. From Racing News:
“We just heard from NASCAR on a number of gun related ads and unfortunately, due a gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns, these ads must be edited/changed—especially those that are depicted as assault-style rifles/sniper rifles. NASCAR is still open to some of the less controversial gun accessories, concealed carry, or classes,” the message read from National Event Publications.
Public pressure works. Keep it up. The “do something!” calls may even get so loud Mitch McConnell hears them and finally acts.
Jen Hayden, Daily Kos, September 4, 2019
Kroger supermarkets shift gun policy, asks customers not to open carry guns in stores