Bloomberg-Backed Gun Control Group Targets Kroger

Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 10:24 AM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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A gun control group supported by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Monday began circulating a petition aimed at pressuring Kroger Co. to change the company's policy allowing customers to carry weapons in its stores.

Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America is urging people to "send a message" to Kroger to change its open carry policy and to "protect families who shop in its stores."

Kroger, besides its namesake brand, also has other outlets including Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, Smiths, Food4Less, Harris Teeter, and others. According to Kroger's 2013 Fact Book, the company had $98.4 billion in sales in 2013 and is located in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

"Kroger employees shouldn't have to determine whether the person holding a gun in the frozen aisle is someone dangerous or someone making a political statement," the gun-control group's spokeswoman, Erika Soto Lamb,  told The Huffington Post.

According to Lamb, the Kroger campaign is partly a response to recent demonstrations by open carry activists in Kroger stores in Ohio and Texas. In addition, the group conducted research which found that since 2012 there have been more than a dozen shootings on Kroger properties.

“Millions of customers are present in our busy grocery stores every day and we don’t want to put our associates in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun. That is why our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping,” Kroger said in a statement.

Other restaurants and retailers who have been the subject of Moms Demand Action include Chipotle, Jack in the Box, and Target.

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