Wegmans, Walgreens, and CVS all banned open carry in their stores on Thursday, following the same gun policy change from Walmart and Kroger the day before.
Unlike the other retailers that only called for a ban on open carry, CVS advised all customers except for authorized law enforcement officers to totally refrain from carrying at all in their stores.
“There’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers & employees,” Wegmans posted to Twitter on Thursday afternoon. “The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don’t want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans. For this reason, we prefer that customers not openly carry firearms into our stores.”
Walgreens tagged anti-gun rights activist Shannon Watts and thanked her for her “advocacy” on gun control and linked to their statement regarding open carry policy.
“We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials,” the statement said.
“We support the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence, and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure our stores remain a safe environment,” a statement from CVS released on Thursday said. “We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”
“Prohibiting open carry sends a very strong cultural signal that companies are siding with the safety of families,” said Watts, founder of anti-gun group Moms Demand Action, according to CNN.
“They know their customers are with them on this … they want to be on the right side of history but they also know that these actions are good for business,” she added.
Along with prohibiting customers from open carry, Walmart caved to left-wing pressures earlier in the week to cease selling handgun ammunition and ammunition commonly used in other popular semi-automatic firearms.
“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. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo issued on Tuesday, as noted by The Daily Wire.
The memo continued: “Today, we’re sharing the decisions we’ve made that go further: After selling through our current inventory commitments, we will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber that, while commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons; We will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition; and We will discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking our complete exit from handguns.”
As noted by CNN, such enforcement of the anti-open carry gun policies in states that allow open carry will likely vary. “It is unclear exactly how the companies will enforce their requests that customers not openly carry in their stores. Laws in open-carry states generally allow private businesses to enact such policies, but differ in how they can or must be enforced.”