Just one week after launching a petition, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today announced that more than 100,000 Americans have signed the grassroots organization’s petition asking Michael Ellis, President and Chief Operating Officer, and Mr. W. Rodney McMullen, Chief Executive Officer, of the Kroger Family of Stores to prohibit open carry in its supermarkets. To keep the pressure on Kroger, Moms Demand Action members and supporters will shop at stores with gun sense and avoid Kroger-owned stores over Labor Day weekend and every weekend after that until Kroger prohibits open carry at its stores, Moms will post on social media platforms using the hashtag #GroceriesNotGuns.
“Moms need to shop for groceries, but we don’t have to shop at stores that put our families in harm’s way,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “More than 100,000 people across the country agree Kroger’s policy endangers our families by putting us in the position of having to guess if the man carrying a rifle through the cereal aisle is a threat to their safety or a gun extremist playing politics, and we’re just getting started. Moms expect the companies we support to support us – and we won’t quit until Kroger prohibits open carry at its supermarkets.”
The Kroger family of stores, the second largest retailer in the country and the nation’s largest supermarket retailer, includes Kroger, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Gerbes Super Markets, Ralphs, Smith’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C Food Stores, Owen’s, Pay Less Supermarkets, City Market, Dillon’s Food Store/Marketplace, Baker’s, King Soopers, QFC and Fry’s Food and Drug.
In states where no background checks or training are required to buy semi-automatic rifles and carry them openly in public, businesses have a duty to protect their employees and patrons. Laws in a majority of states allow people to openly carry loaded rifles in public with absolutely no training, permitting, or minimum age requirement. Combined with estimates that 40 percent of gun sales occur without a background check in the U.S., this means that people in most states can legally carry loaded rifles in public without ever having passed a criminal background check. Open carry demonstrations at stores in certain states are also causing Kroger to violate state laws. In Texas, a business that is licensed to sell alcoholic beverages is prohibited by state law from allowing individuals to openly carry firearms on the premises, and therefore Kroger could be jeopardizing its licenses there by failing to prevent these demonstrations.
The Moms Demand Action campaign follows similar actions aimed at Target, Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s and Jack in the Box that led these companies to take swift action to stand with Moms and enforce or adopt policies that prohibit open carry to protect the safety of their employees and customers.