- Walmart asked shoppers to stop openly carrying guns in its stores on Tuesday, following two deadly shootings in stores in El Paso, Texas, and Southaven, Mississippi.
- Following Walmart, stores like Kroger and Wegmans announced they would be implementing similar policies in their stores.
- Walmart also plans to stop selling some ammunition and handguns in Alaska.
- Here are the eight stores that have recently made the move to ban open carry of firearms in their stores.
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Two deadly shootings Walmart stores are causing major companies to make a change.
After initially stating it would not change its gun sales policies after shootings in stores in Texas and Mississippi, Walmart announced it would ask shoppers not to openly carry firearms in its stores. The company also plans to stop selling ammunition for handguns and some rifles and will stop selling handguns in Alaska entirely.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo to employees on Tuesday. “As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same.”
The policy change in Walmart will not affect those who carry concealed firearms.
Following Walmart’s lead, at least seven other chains have announced similar changes in gun-carrying policies in their stores in less than a week.
Here are the eight stores that are banning open carry in their stores.
- Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider
Walmart started the wave of changes on Tuesday when it said it would ask shoppers not to openly carry firearms in its stores.
The company also announced that it would stop selling ammunition for handguns and certain rifles. Walmart plans to stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state that the retailer currently sells handguns.
“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo.
Walmart’s policy will be enforced differently in stores across the country based store manager’s discretion, a Walmart spokesperson told Business Insider – and those who openly carry guns in stores won’t necessarily be asked to leave right away.
Walmart’s announcement set off a domino effect among other retailers across the country in the following days.
Kroger made a similar announcement regarding its open-carry policy in its stores just hours after Walmart.
“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Jessica Adelman, Kroger’s vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement.
“We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials,” the statement reads.
The company also praised anti-gun violence advocacy group Moms Demand Action and its founder Shannon Watts on Twitter for the group’s advocacy on gun-related issues.
Shortly after Walgreens made its announcement, CVS jumped on the bandwagon and made its own policy change known via Twitter.
The drug store chain stated that it was joining “a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”
CVS notably goes one step further by including concealed carry as well in its request.
Wegmans, another grocery chain, publicly asked its customers to stop carrying firearms in its stores on Twitter Thursday.
“There’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers & employees,” the chain tweeted from its official account. “The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don’t want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans. For this reason, we prefer that customers not openly carry firearms into our stores.”
Meijer, a grocery chain that operates in the Midwest US, announced a similar request via Twitter on Monday.
“The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority, so we respectfully request that our customers do not open carry firearms at Meijer,” the chain wrote in a post on its official account.
International grocery chain Aldi tweeted Monday on Monday that it would also prefer its customers not to open carry in its stores.
“At ALDI, the safety of our employees, customers and the community is our highest priority. Alongside many other businesses, we are asking that our customers refrain from openly displaying firearms in any of our stores, except for authorized law enforcement personnel,” the company tweeted from its US- based account.
- Chelsea Greenwood/Business Insider
“Publix respectfully requests that only law enforcement officials openly carry firearms in our stores,” the grocery chain said in a statement to CNN on September 11.