Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman addressed the ongoing battle the retail food chain has with the gun-control organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America during an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box on March 25.
“In the fall there [were] these liberal groups who had organized to suggest that Kroger was allowing people to ‘open carry’ firearms in their supermarkets. What was that about and where do you guys stand on that?” asked the host of the show, Andrew Ross Sorkin.
That was a group called Moms Demand Action. They were opposed to the fact that our policy is to adhere to the local gun laws. If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are. We don’t believe it’s up to us to legislate what the local gun control laws should be. It’s up to the local legislators to decide to do that.
So we follow local laws [and] we ask our customers to be respectful to the other people they are shopping with. And we really haven’t had any issues inside of our stores as a result of that.
Moms Demand Action has been actively targeting Kroger since August 18, after a string of victories in which the gun-control advocates convinced numerous retail stores and restaurants, e.g. Target, Starbucks, Sonic, Chili’s, to release statements asking customers to leave their guns at home.
However, Kroger has not capitulated to Moms Demand Action’s requests. It continues to stand by its policy of respecting local and state gun laws, which in many cases permit the open carry of long guns in the public square.
“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 Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms back in October of 2012.
“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.”
Though Kroger’s position is unpopular with Moms Demand Action, it hasn’t seem to hurt it’s bottom line. In December, Breitbart News reported that rose “21 percent” after refusing to prohibit guns in its store locations.