U.S. News


Group Pushes Kroger Grocery Stores For Stricter Gun Policy

Moms Demand Action is calling out Kroger to ban guns inside its stores after a gun-rights group carried long rifles into one of its locations.
Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 18, 2014

Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America is urging Kroger grocery stores to stop allowing customers to carry firearms into its locations.

In a statement, Moms Demand Action cites 16 shootings at Kroger stores nationwide in the last two years. The group also takes issue with gun rights demonstrations that have taken place at the grocery chain.

Kroger's policy does not ban guns at their locations but asks customers to "follow state and local laws and ... be respectful of others while shopping." But now Kroger finds itself caught in the middle of a debate it probably wants nothing to do with.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to a retail expert that said Kroger is likely afraid of alienating its customers: "I suspect that they probably are looking at this and going, 'What did we do to deserve this?' They're thinking to themselves, 'We're just trying to sell food.'"

Moms Demand Action's strategy with Kroger, which includes a social media campaign and an online petition, looks a lot like a similar push the group made for Target stores earlier this year.

And that was fairly successful. Target now asks shoppers to not bring firearms into their stores, though it did not implement a full ban.

The Kroger campaign is likely a reaction to gun-rights groups, such as Open Carry Texas, using Kroger grocery stores to stage demonstrations by openly carrying long rifles into at least one location last year.

Open Carry Texas advocates for wider acceptance toward carrying guns in public by openly carrying long rifles into restaurants and stores, which is legal under Texas law.

But the group's methods have proven controversial — even for other gun right advocates. This video shows members carrying rifles into a Chili's in May. The chain later announced firearms are no longer welcome at its restaurants.

Kroger, which operates under nearly two dozen brands, is the nation's second-largest general retailer after Walmart, operating in 31 states.

The video contains images from Getty Images.