Grocery retail giant Kroger on Tuesday followed in Walmart’s footsteps, requesting that its customers – with the exception of law enforcement – refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores.
"Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Kroger group vice president of corporate affairs Jessica Adelman said in a statement.
Adelman also similarly called on lawmakers “to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence."
Walmart in an announcement on Tuesday requested “that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms at its stores unless they are law enforcement officers.”
America's largest grocery retailer also said it would discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition, some types of rifle ammunition, and handguns in Alaska, marking its "complete exit from handguns.”
Following Walmart’s announcement on Tuesday, the National Rifle Association issued a statement calling it “shameful” that Walmart would “succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites.”
“The truth is Walmart’s actions today will not make us any safer,” the statement reads. “Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans. Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty."
These decisions by Walmart and Kroger have been made in the wake of a series of mass shootings, though whether stricter gun control measures would have helped prevent the shootings is up for serious debate.
As MRCTV reported,
The announcement comes after a mass shooting in Odessa, Texas over the weekend that killed seven people as well as the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio last month.
The El Paso shooting took place at a Walmart and claimed the lives of 22 people. The gunman reportedly used an AK-style firearm already banned by Walmart.
The suspect in the Odessa shooting was reported to have failed a background check and did not obtain the gun used in the shooting legally.