Kroger is asking customers not to openly carry firearms in stores, following a move by Walmart Tuesday to stop selling handgun ammunition.
The decisions follow waves of shootings, including an Oregon District tragedy one month ago today that left nine dead after Connor Betts opened fire on a crowd outside popular Dayton bars.
The largest regional grocery provider also endorsed stricter laws on background checks and preventing individuals that could be at-risk of violence from obtaining guns.
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“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Cincinnati-based Kroger said in a statement Tuesday. “We are joining those encouraging our elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have found to pose a risk for violence.”
The request is not written into the store’s policy on customers carrying firearms, which is posted online.
“Our longstanding policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws, and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores,” the policy said.
Ohio and neighboring Indiana both allow open carry, along with most states allowing some form depending on whether a license is required and what type of firearms are allowed. Ohio does not require any license for a gun owner to open carry.
"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," said Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs, in a statement to CNBC. "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."
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