NEW YORK – Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauds Trader Joe’s for reaffirming its commitment to gun safety in stores across the country by publicizing its “long-standing preference that customers not bring guns into our stores.” The Moms Demand Action petition, which led to the statement on the grocery chain’s national policy, grew out of an effort to ensure that Trader Joe’s customers across the country would be protected by the same gun sense policies that protect Texas customers. In January 2016, Trader Joe’s was one of more than 400 businesses in Texas that quickly acted to prohibit the open carry of firearms in stores after a Texas law made it legal to openly carry handguns in any store without a large and burdensome sign.
Trader Joe’s stated on its website, as well as in an email to Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts, that the national policy announcement came “in light of recent customer feedback and questions.” More than 30,000 people signed the Moms Demand Action petition pushing for this policy shift at Trader Joe’s.
“Moms are grateful that Trader Joe’s listened to concerned shoppers and answered by publicly announcing it does not want customers to bring guns into any of its stores nationwide,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Moms shouldn’t have to confront armed extremists when we’re buying Joe Joe’s cookies. Trader Joe’s statement in favor of gun safety sends a strong cultural signal that they’re committed to protecting their customers — in spite of Congress breaking its commitment to protect constituents.”
The 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 the millions of gun sales in America that occur without a background check in a single year, this means that people in most states can legally carry loaded rifles in public without ever having passed a criminal background check.
The Trader Joes commitment 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 Demand Action volunteers and enforce or adopt policies that prohibit open carry to protect the safety of their employees and customers. Moms Demand Action also played a pivotal role in getting Safeway and Albertsons, the country’s second largest grocery chain, to clarify their company-wide policy prohibiting firearms in their stores. And just weeks ago, Facebook acted to end all unlicensed gun sales on its platforms following months of discussion with leaders from Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action.