Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens ban open carry; Mum on additional security

by WorldTribune Staff, September 6, 2019

In the past week, Walmart, Kroger and Walgreens all decided to ban the open carry of firearms in their stores.

Walgreens on Sept. 5 posted a short statement on the issue, which says, “We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials.”

Photo by Lucio Eastman / Creative Commons / CC By 2.0

Walmart and Kroger announced their bans on open carry on Sept. 3.

“Kroger did so while also calling on Congress to pass more gun control, and Walmart did so while also asking the White House to secure more gun control,” Breitbart Second Amendment columnist AWR Hawkins noted.

Walmart also announced it will no longer sell ammunition for AR-15s and AK-47s and will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska.

Former CKE Restaurants (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s) CEO Andy Puzder defended Walmart’s decision to ban customers from carrying firearms in their stores, but suggested they hire additional security to protect their customers.

“It’s a capitalist country, they have the right to do it,” Puzder told Fox News. “If I ran Walmart I might think about putting in more security if I’m telling people they can’t come in with guns to protect themselves… But I’m not running Wal-Mart, but I am sympathetic to the CEO who realizes that some of his customers were shot in his stores. That cuts to your heart.”

Puzder said the open carry ban is Walmart’s way of playing to its millennial shoppers in an effort to be representative of their future customer base.

“CEOs would enact a policy like this because it’s what they believe their consumers want,” Puzder said. “Everybody said they’re backing away from representing shareholders’ interests. I don’t think that’s true.”

“There are these social policies — these social justice things that are important to millennials and they’re going to go to companies that focus on those things,” Puzder added. “So if you thought your customers wanted an environment where there weren’t guns, then you would enact a policy that met your customer’s needs. That’s how you grow your business and satisfy your shareholders.”

Puzder said more companies will likely follow Walmart’s lead but also remain vigilant in monitoring the customer response, before making any permanent changes.

“They could [follow Walmart] for one of those two reasons. Either they feel like they need to do this because it’s the right policy… or they feel like their customers want it,” Puzder said.

“Companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart are going to find out how their customers react. If people start going [elsewhere] they’re going to lose business and I think they’ll probably end up rethinking the policy. But for right now… these are free-market companies. They have every right to make these decisions.”

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