Kroger asks shoppers to no longer openly carry firearms in its stores

Julia La Roche

Grocery giant Kroger (KR) joined Walmart (WMT) on Tuesday in asking shoppers to no longer openly carry 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, group vice president of corporate affairs, said in a 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."

Last year, Kroger exited the firearm and ammunition business at its Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest.

"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,” Adelman said.

‘Respectfully requesting’

On Tuesday, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon sent a company-wide email outlining steps the big-box retailer would make in response to the mass shooting at an El Paso store. In that email, he "respectfully" requested customers no longer openly carry firearms and hoped that "everyone would understand the circumstances that led to this new policy change."

"As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers,” McMillon wrote. “We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where 'open carry' is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”

Elsewhere, Walmart said that it would no longer sell certain ammunition that could be used in military-style weapons. The retailer also said it would exit the handgun category by no longer selling ammunition for those firearms. It would also stop selling handguns in Alaska, the last remaining state where they were available after Walmart ended those sales across its fleet in 1993.

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Julia La Roche is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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