Customers pump gasoline at a Kroger gasoline station in the parking lot of one of the company’s grocery stores in Worthington, Ohio in 2006.
Gary Gardiner | Getty Images
Kroger on Tuesday followed Walmart in asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in any of its stores, in states where “open carry” is allowed, unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.
The announced changes come amid a wave of deadly shootings in the U.S., including two at Walmart stores this summer.
Both companies are also calling on the government to strengthen background checks.
“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.”
“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,” she also said. “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.”
After a shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018, Kroger said its Fred Meyer stores would stop selling firearms to buyers under 21.