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Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action Applaud CVS and Wegmans for Decisions to Prohibit Open Carry in Stores

Since Tuesday, Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS and Wegmans Have All Announced Prohibitions on Open Carry in Stores

Polling Released Today Showed that Companies “Have More to Gain Than They Put at Risk” by Advocating for Gun Safety

NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, applauded announcements from CVS and Wegmans that both will prohibit open carry of firearms in its stores. Moms Demand Action volunteers have been pressuring corporations to prohibit open carry in stores since 2013, when volunteers successfully convinced Starbucks to change its open carry policy. In 45 states, it’s legal to carry loaded firearms in public with no permit or safety training. Prohibiting open carry in stores makes employees and families safer.

“This week’s groundswell of new corporate policies to prevent gun violence is a timely reminder to the Senate: The American people expect action on gun safety,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud CVS and Wegmans for standing behind their employees and customers, and urge the Senate to pass meaningful gun safety laws — because the American people will not accept ineffective half measures.”

“We‘re thrilled to see two more companies act today to stop open carry in their stores,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Americans should be able to shop with their families without the fear of gun violence. These decisions by CVS, Wegmans, Walmart, Kroger and Walgreens this week demonstrate that not only is standing up for gun safety the right thing to do — it is no longer controversial. I hope Mitch McConnell is watching and will be inspired to stand up for our safety, too.”

Polling released today from Edelman Intelligence showed that a strong majority of Americans feel favorably towards businesses that support gun safety measures. The poll — taken before recent moves by these five companies to prohibit open carry in their stores — shows broad and bipartisan public support for a variety of actions by CEOs and companies, including supporting legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, funding gun safety education and prohibiting open carry in their stores. Based on these findings, Edelman Intelligence advised that businesses “have more to gain than they put at risk” by advocating for gun violence prevention. 

Other notable findings include:

  • Nearly half of Americans would be more likely to purchase from a company if its CEO has taken action to address gun violence and just 11 percent are less likely to purchase from that company; 
  • The majority of Democrats, Republicans and gun owners would feel more favorable toward a company whose CEO advocated for legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales; and
  • Consumers are three times more likely to respond positively than negatively to a CEO or company that takes action to address gun violence. 

CVS, Wegmans, Walgreens, Walmart and Kroger join a growing and diverse list of corporations that have taken a stand on gun violence prevention, including retailers like Levi Strauss & Co., TOMS, DICK’S Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean and REI, financial services companies like Citibank, Amalgamated Bank, BlackRock and PayPal, and tech companies like Facebook and Salesforce, to name a few. A sample of corporate action on gun violence prevention is available here.