Walmart and Kroger separately announced on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 that they are requesting their customers to not openly carry their guns into their stores. However they will allow customers with concealed gun permits. Plans are for them to post signs asking customers to not openly carry their guns into their businesses but to leave them in their cars,
Walmart will also stop selling all handgun ammunition as well as short-barrel rifle ammunition because they can also be used on assault-style weapons once it sells all of its current inventory. This decision comes after the mass shooting in its El Paso, Tx store on August 3, 2019. The following week, Walmart pulled all signage off of its sales floors for videos and games promoting gun violence and removed 1,100 third-party items from its website. It will also now stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only stores where it sells them since it banned sales of handguns in the mid-1990s.
Kroger stopped selling handguns and ammunition in all of its Fred Myers stores in the Pacific Northwest last March and even pulled sales of magazines which feature ‘assault rifles.’ But last year it stopped selling guns in all its stores totally.
Walmart will continue to sell hunting rifles and shotguns and ammunition for them and raised its minimum age for purchasing guns fro 18 to 21 years old.
Walmart is being pressured by the American Federation of Teachers, the largest US teacher’s union, as well as by other gun safety groups, to stop selling guns altogether. Seven Democratic candidates for president are also doing likewise.
Texas is a state where ‘open carry’ is legal. However, Ed Scruggs, who is the president of Texas Gun Sense, a gun safety advocacy group, says that several retailers in the state request that their customers not openly carry their guns in their stores. These retailers post large signs in English and Spanish at the entrance to their stores. According to Scruggs, store employees have the right to ask customers who openly carry their guns to take them back to their cars or to leave the store.
Walmart and Kroger are also joining several other corporations in the nation, asking state and national leaders to pass gun reform laws, and strengthen laws in place for background checks and to take weapons away from anyone who has been deemed to pose an imminent danger to society.