A group of gun-control activists and moms are targeting the country’s largest supermarket chain and demanding that it prohibit customers from bringing guns into its nearly 2,500 stores.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which was formed after the Newtown school shootings, has created a campaign to get Kroger to ban guns in its aisles, reports Huffington Post. The national gun control organization points to several incidents that have taken place since 2012 in which “more than a dozen” shootings have occurred at their stores. Perhaps most notably, in February, a 2-year-old girl was shot in a Kroger parking lot in Georgia after a customer tried to help the victim of an alleged attempted mugging.
“Kroger employees shouldn’t have to determine whether the person holding a gun in the frozen aisle is someone dangerous or someone making a political statement,” said spokeswoman Erika Soto Lamb, referring to how open carry activists have taken to displaying their guns in shops and restaurants.
The group has staged several protests outside of popular establishments, as well as used social media sites to increase awareness of its demands. As a result, some major corporations – including Starbucks, Chipotle, Target, Sonic, Chili’s and Jack In The Box are enforcing no-gun policies.
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Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts sent a letter to Kroger’s CEO Michael Ellis last week, imploring that he not leave the safety of his customers up to the state and its “lax” laws:
“In most states, gun laws are exceedingly lax, especially when it comes to the open carry of firearms,” Watts said. “In many states, virtually anyone can openly carry a loaded gun without going through any licensing, permitting or training.”
Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey issued the following statement on Friday, in which he confirmed the corporation has no plans of altering its rules to appeal to the group:
“Millions of customers are present in our busy grocery stores every day and we don’t want to put our associates in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun,” Dailey said. “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.”
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Source: Huffington Post