President Obama made it very clear that gun control is the top priority of his final year in office. Open carry is legal in many states if you carry a permit but businesses have the right to ban the practice.
Senators Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have asked the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) to ban the open carry of handguns in its “300 retail food stores and pharmacies” in Connecticut.
According to The Connecticut Mirror, the three lawmakers sent CFA a letter saying, “Customers should feel safe while shopping, and employees should not be fearful while doing their jobs. You have the opportunity to take a strong stance in support of creating a safe, welcoming environment in Connecticut’s food retailer.”
The letter went on to say, “There is simply no reason someone would need to bring their gun with them in order to purchase milk, bread or other necessities at a grocery store.”
Breitbart added that there actually is a reason that customers would want to bring a gun in to shop–and that reason is self-defense. Breitbart News has covered myriad of attempted robberies of businesses in which the difference between life and death came down to the presence of a concealed carry permit holder who was armed and willing to act. Without the benefit of an armed citizen, a trip inside to get milk, bread, or other necessities can turn into a death march.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a similar campaign against Kroger grocers on August 18, 2014. They pressured the retail food chain to ban the open carry of handguns and upped the ante by launching a boycott of Kroger in April 2015.
But during a March 25 appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Kroger CFO Michael Scholtman explained why the retail food chain would not comply with the demands:
[Moms Demand Action] 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.
So far, Connecticut Food Association has not responded to Blumenthal, Murphy, and Esty.
In the past, chains like Target, AMC Theaters, Panera Bread and Chipotle have issued bans on guns, and other stores such as Starbucks have requested gun owners leave their weapons at home, though there is not a ban. A pro-Second Amendment website even has a list of stores that gun owners should boycott.