Everytown for Gun Safety is now targeting the Kroger Company as part of its ongoing quest to eradicate the open carry of long guns inside public stores and restaurants.
On Monday, the pro-gun control organization largely financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced its plan to call on the company’s leaders of Kroger, Michael Ellis, president and chief operating officer, and W. Rodney McMullen, chief executive officer, to prohibit patrons from toting firearms into its supermarkets, specifically those who participate in open-carry demonstrations.
“The history of shootings at Kroger stores underscores the risk of allowing open carry demonstrations and rallies to continue,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of the larger Everytown organization which includes Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in a press release.
“It’s impossible for any employee to ascertain the intentions of an individual carrying an assault rifle — and given the potentially deadly outcome of mistaking a criminal for a protester, or vice versa, it is imperative that the largest supermarket retailer in the nation stands up for public safety,” added Watts.
Kroger 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.
“Kroger is an essential part of American moms’ lives. When we take our kids to the supermarket to buy groceries each week, we expect to be safe and secure,” Watts continued. “We support the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, but ignoring incidences of gun violence in and around stores and allowing demonstrators to open carry loaded weapons through the same aisles that our children pick out their favorite cereals is unacceptable.”
Watts went on to say that there’s no way for stores or customers to tell good guys from bad guys, therefore Kroger should “follow the lead of Target, Chipotle, Starbucks and many others and make a clear statement that the open carry of firearms is not welcome in its stores.”
Like with its previous campaigns, Everytown has set up an online petition to encourage customers to pressure executives into coming out against open carry.