In attempt to get the Kroger Company to ban open carry in their grocery stores and supermarkets, Everytown for Gun Safety unveiled a new advertising campaign Thursday to pressure management into changing its policy.
“Guess Which One” is the name of the campaign, and it features a series of print and digital ads that juxtaposes behavior that is banned by Kroger (not wearing a shirt, eating food, and carrying a skateboard) next to a person openly carrying a firearm with the tagline, “One of them isn’t welcome at Kroger. Guess which one.”
“These images bring into stark contrast Kroger policies that prohibit skateboards, food and a lack of appropriate attire in stores, but allow the open carry of loaded guns,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which along with Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns makes up Everytown.
“This inconsistency is particularly shocking given that the laws in a majority of states do not require a background check, permitting or even training to open carry a firearm,” Watts continued. “In all states, but especially those where gun laws are lax, businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and patrons.”
The Kroger chain of stores include: Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, Gerbes Super Markets, Ralphs, Smith’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C Food Stores, Owen’s, Pay Less Supermarkets, City Market, Dillon’s Food Store/Marketplace, Baker’s, King Soopers, QFC and Fry’s Food and Drug.
The advertisements are appearing online as well as in print in major publications across the county, such as USA Today, the Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, among others.
“Kroger’s leadership has been resistant to prohibiting open carry because, as they’ve stated, we don’t want employees to have to ‘confront’ a customer openly carrying a firearm, but neither do moms when we’re carrying children,” said Watts.
“If Kroger is concerned about the safety risks an armed individual poses for staff, management should put in place specific policies against open carry in and around its stores to protect both employees and customers,” she concluded.
In the past, Moms Demand Action has been successful at getting other retail outlets and restaurants to issue policies that request gun owners to leave their firearms at home. Target, Starbucks, Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s and Jack in the Box have all capitulated to Moms Demand Action’s anti-open carry agenda. It’ll be interesting to see if Kroger follows suit.