On CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday, Kroger CEO Michael Schlotman said that the company wouldn’t cave to the demands of an anti-gun group that organized a campaign against the grocery chain, according to Breitbart News.
That was a group called Moms Demand Action. They were opposed to the fact that our policy is to adhere to the local gun laws. If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are. We don’t believe it’s up to us to legislate what the local gun control laws should be. It’s up to the local legislators to decide to do that.
So we follow local laws [and] we ask our customers to be respectful to the other people they are shopping with. And we really haven’t had any issues inside of our stores as a result of that.
Last summer the group, Moms Demand Action, started an online petition to request that all Kroger stores, representing the largest grocery chain in the country, no longer allow customers to open carry weapons:
The campaign, titled #GroceriesNotGuns, asked shoppers to boycott Kroger’s stores, shop elsewhere, and then send the pictures of their shopping trip to Kroger:
Some shoppers were quick to join the cause:
— Erin D (@ErinDMomOf3) March 24, 2015
Others Twitter users pointed out reasons for the boycott:
— Tod (@conlawny) March 25, 2015
Others have fired back with retorts:
When the petition and boycott were announced, Kroger issued a direct response:
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. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue, and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.
We have and will continue to adhere to the firearms and concealed handgun laws as outlined by the states in which we do business. We believe this issue is best handled by lawmakers, not retailers.
Moms Demand Action was formed in 2012 by Shannon Watts in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. The group is associated with the Everytown For Gun Safety, an anti-gun activist group funded in large part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Their November 2014 campaign to pressure North Carolina Harris Teeter stores into banning firearms was unsuccessful, as well.