Customers should avoid openly carrying guns while shopping at Kroger, the Cincinnati-based national grocery chain is "respectfully asking" in a statement.
That request, which came yesterday just after Walmart made a similar suggestion, stands even in stores located in states where open carry is legal, Kroger says.
Walmart and other corporate retailers have faced pressure from gun control activists and others in the wake of regular mass shootings across the country. Twenty-two people died in a mass shooting in an El Paso, Texas Walmart last month. In the aftermath of that event, activists have asked the retailer to stop selling guns at its stores.
Walmart had already raised the minimum age for purchasing a gun at its locations from 18 to 21 following last year's deadly Parkland, Florida shootings, and said yesterday it will cease the sale of some guns and ammunition at its stores in the aftermath of the El Paso shootings.
Kroger ceased the sale of guns last year.
You can read Kroger's statement in full below:
A year ago, Kroger made the conscious decision to completely exit the firearm and ammunition business when we stopped selling them in our Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest. Kroger has demonstrated with our actions that we recognize the growing chorus of Americans who are no longer comfortable with the status quo and who are advocating for concrete and common sense gun reforms.
Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers. We are also joining those encouraging our elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence. Our Kroger Purpose is to Feed the Human Spirit and, as America’s grocer, providing our associates and customers with a safe place to work and shop will remain our highest priority.