Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, has asked its customers to no longer openly carry firearms in its stores.
“Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers,” Jessica Adelman, who serves as group vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday afternoon.
“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,” she continued.
Prior to the change in policy, Adelman told the news agency that store locations adhered to local gun laws.
The announcement comes just hours after Walmart said it will formally end handgun sales and asked customers not to openly carry firearms following a mass shooting that took place at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas, last month.
Walmart also announced that it will be discontinuing sales on certain types of ammunition, including short-barrel rifle ammunition. It also said it will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska — which is the only state in the country where the company still sells handguns.
“We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer,” Doug McMillon, the president and CEO of Walmart Inc., wrote in a letter to associates.
“It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable,” he added.