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Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action Applaud Publix for Decision to Prohibit Open Carry in Stores

In Recent Weeks, Albertsons Companies, ALDI, CVS, Kroger, Meijer, Walgreens, Walmart, Wegmans, and Publix Have All Announced Prohibitions on Open Carry in Stores

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

NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, today applauded Publix’s announcement that it will prohibit open carry of firearms in its stores. According to reports, Publix will request customers not openly carry firearms, including in stores where law currently permits open carry. The announcement extends to all stores operating in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 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 is legal for civilians to openly carry loaded, semiautomatic rifles in public—and in 41 of those states a person can openly carry without a permit or safety training.

“This is remarkable: Over the last eight days, nine major national retailers have bucked the NRA and taken action to keep their customers safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “It’s high time for the Senate to take a page from these business leaders — which have their fingers on the pulse of public opinion — and pass strong background check and Red Flag laws.”

“Publix joins a growing list of brands that have decided to prohibit open carry in stores,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “These reversals in store policy are yet more proof point that corporate leaders are standing up to the gun lobby and taking action on gun safety — because their customers are demanding it. Now it’s time for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate to lead on this issue and bring gun safety legislation to the floor for a vote.”

Polling released last week 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 eight 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. 

Since last week, Albertsons Companies, ALDI, CVS, Kroger, Meijer, Publix, Wegmans, Walgreens and Walmart have joined 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.