Target TGT. Chipotle. Sonic. Chili’s Grill & Bar. Jack in the Box. Starbucks.
Each time gun safety groups Moms Demand Action and new partner Everytown For Gun Safety have taken on a retail or restaurant chain in recent months, they’ve been successful.
The pattern generally goes thusly: the groups, led by mother-of-five Shannon Watts and bolstered by $50 million from Michael Bloomberg, start a petition asking a national retailer to enact a policy against the open carrying of guns in their establishments. A spokesperson then releases a statement saying the company will follow state and local laws pertaining to firearms.
Moms Demand Action then exerts pressure on the retailer in question, starting a social media campaign and boycotting the business. Days or weeks later, the store or restaurant chain capitulates, asking that shoppers and diners leave their guns at home.
The object of the gun control campaigners’ ire at present is Kroger, the country’s largest grocery chain (market cap: $22.16 billion) and second-largest retailer (only Walmart is bigger). Mom’s Demand Action and Everytown are asking that Kroger KR -2.09% does what Target, Starbucks et al have done and request that shoppers don’t openly carry firearms inside stores. So far, over 100,000 people have signed Everytown’s petition, which states:
Numerous shootings and gun rallies have taken place at Kroger brand stores in recent years. The company policies that have enabled this to happen are not in line with its core values, which include creating a “safe and secure workplace and shopping environment.”
Most states have weak gun laws that let people openly carry guns even if they haven’t had a background check or training. Private businesses like Kroger have the responsibility to protect their customers when the law won’t.