Trader Joe’s Policy in the Crosshairs
The gun-control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is pushing forward with their campaign against grocery stores that have a neutral or pro-gun policies when it comes to customers who carry. The group has targeted Trader Joe’s on a national level along with groceries on local levels.
The group has repeatedly petitioned grocery stores and restaurant chains, sometimes successfully, to adopt or make public existing anti-gun policies. These businesses include Albertsons, Chipotle, Chili’s, Jack in the Box, Safeway, Starbucks, and Target. They have also attempted to restrict pro-gun groups on social media including Facebook and Instagram.
Recently Moms Demand announced that they were involved with a no-open-carry policy adopted by Trader Joe’s in Texas and are now asking that the rest of the stores across the country adopt the same policy.
“In many parts of our country, customers can still shop for pot-stickers and Joe-Joe’s cookies at Trader Joe’s side by side with someone openly carrying a loaded firearm,” said group spokeswoman Shannon Watts. “We are asking Trader Joe’s to take its Texas gun sense policy nationwide by prohibiting the open carry of firearms at all its stores.”
The Bloomberg-affiliated group, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, hasn’t always succeeded at changing store policy. The gun control group saw a major loss after it was rejected by Kroger last year. Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, maintains a policy to follow all local gun laws including those that protect open- and concealed-carry.
“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,” said Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman in response to Moms Demand’s petition. “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,” he continued. “And we really haven’t had any issues inside of our stores as a result of that.”
The group is currently working in Connecticut to try to flip Kroger policy on a state level, although it’s not clear if they will see any great success there.
“[The] Connecticut Food Association is actually leading that dialogue with our members, they will make decisions based on what’s best for their businesses,” Wayne Pesce, the association’s president, reports Fox News.
In the past Moms Demand Action has taken credit for some store policies asking customers not to bring their guns into their stores, even when those stores already had no-carry policies in place. Safeway, for example, is one chain that did not employ their gun policy in response to a Moms Demand petition — they already had one in place.