Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is claiming that 64 percent of Kroger customers favor banning open carry in store locations, according to the results of a survey commissioned by the gun-control organization.
The main findings of the survey, which was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group via the telephone from Oct. 14-17 in 31 states where open carry is lawful, included the following:
- 64 percent of Kroger shoppers think customers should not be allowed to open carry guns in Kroger stores;
- Kroger could lose up to twice as many customers if it allows open carry than if the company prohibits it;
- One in four parents who shop with their kids say they would definitely not shop at Kroger with their children if open carry is allowed;
- More than half of Kroger shoppers polled have guns in their homes; and
- 61 percent of Kroger shoppers who have guns in their home do not believe it would be an infringement on their Second Amendment rights for a store to prevent people from openly carrying a gun in a store.
Despite intense pressure from Moms Demand Action, Kroger executives have remained steadfast in their belief that local chains should follow local gun laws, a stance that Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, finds untenable.
“With a patchwork of lax gun laws and background check loopholes in states across America, Kroger customers have good reason to feel uncomfortable and unsafe when open carry is allowed in a Kroger store,” said Watts in a Tuesday press release, in reference to the survey results.
“It’s true that lawmakers should do more to protect us from gun violence, but Kroger’s leadership should not use politicians’ inaction to justify their own,” she continued. “Kroger must change its policy that forces employees and customers to guess whether an armed individual poses a threat to customers.”
Yet, at least one gun-rights organization is questioning the validity of the poll and the apparent agenda of Moms Demand Action to disarm law-abiding citizens in the public square.
“This is nothing but a sham poll designed to bully Kroger into banning its customers from carrying the tools of self-defense,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights in an email to GunsAmerica. ”
“We encourage businesses to not disarm their customers,” Brown continued. “Gun free zones are criminal safe zones, rendering the public defenseless in the event of a crime.”
Moms Demand Action, which along with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns makes up Everytown for Gun Safety, has had success pressuring other retail chains and restaurants to adopt a ‘please don’t bring your firearms into our stores’ policy — which is short of a ban, and more like a polite request.
Among those businesses to heed the call of Moms and change company policy on firearms, include: Target, Starbucks, Chipotle, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chili’s, and most recently New Seasons Market which has grocery stores in Oregon and Washington.
“Kroger claims to be a ‘Family of Stores,’ so where are their family values?” asked Watts. “We are asking Kroger leadership directly: Why are you siding with gun extremists, rather than mothers and the majority of Kroger shoppers, who support ending open carry in Kroger stores?”