First it was Walmart – now it’s Kroger.
Just hours after Walmart made its move on Tuesday, Ohio-based supermarket giant Kroger also asked customers to stop openly carrying firearms in its stores.
“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Jessica Adelman said.
She’s group vice president of corporate affairs and put out the 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.”
Kroger stopped selling guns last year.
Walmart also announced on Tuesday that they will stop selling handguns in Alaska stores and are making major cuts to their nationwide ammunition sales, according to a report from Fox News.
As part of the changes, Walmart stores across the county will no longer carry ammunition for handguns or short-barrel rifles and handguns will not be sold at all in Alaska.
Instead, the company has said that they will focus on providing gear for long barrel deer rifles and shotguns. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo on Tuesday that their stores will supply much of the ammunition required for hunting and will continue to provide hunting and sporting accessories and apparel.
With the new changes, ammunition in .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber will no longer be available for purchase after the stores run out of their current inventory.
McMillon said the company has a long history with the hunting community and wanted to be sure that the company still supported hunting and sporting enthusiasts.
“We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we’re going to continue doing so,” McMillon said.
With the recent string of cases involving shootings and armed gunman inside Walmart stores across the county, the company’s CEO is also asking that people no longer openly bring their weapons into Walmart or Sam’s Club stores – even if they’re licensed to carry and the state allows legal open carrying.
The company tweeted about their new policy on Tuesday.
We’ve been working to understand the many important issues arising from the horrific events in El Paso and Southaven, as well as those raised in the national discussion around gun violence. Today, we’re sharing some next steps: https://t.co/chWzGf6Amv pic.twitter.com/Ye3xjjRdrh
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) September 3, 2019
McMillon also seemed to support the new legislation surrounding red flag laws, which allows a court official to order the removal of a citizen’s weapons if it is believed that they may pose a threat to themselves or others.
“We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” the statement said.
So is making Walmart the next ‘Gun-Free Zone’ going to stop people from committing these horrific attacks? Won’t potential gunmen now know that people won’t be carrying inside of the store, making it a soft-target?
Social media exploded on Tuesday with critics of Walmart’s new gun policy.
Curious if Walmart will now provide armed security at all of its stores now that the company has made clear it doesn’t like individuals who do their duty to carry and do their best to protect themselves. (the answer is obviously no)
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 3, 2019
Walmart will stop selling certain ammunition… which will unfortunately stop a total of ZERO psychopaths from killing if they want to kill.
You can ban all the things you think are bad… you can make every law… you can virtue signal all day long… criminals don’t care.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) September 3, 2019
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As many know, I have been working with @DWStweets on passing #JaimesLaw to extend background checks to ammunition. Thank you @Walmart for recognizing the reality that we must also deal with ammunition to help ensure safety from gun violence. pic.twitter.com/MaVUsB608d
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 3, 2019
The major announcement comes just after a mass shooting in Texas claimed the lives of seven victims and wounded more than 30 more. Additionally, a Texas Walmart was the location of a deadly attack in August, when an armed gunman walked into a store and opened fire, killing 22 people.