NEW YORK (AP & WXXI News) Drug chains CVS and Walgreens as well as grocery chain Wegmans Food Market have joined the chorus of retailers requesting that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in their stores even where state laws allow it.
The announcements made Thursday follow similar moves by Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, as well as Kroger earlier this week. Starbucks and Target have already asked customers not to openly carry guns unless they're law enforcement officers.
The retailers stopped short of introducing an outright ban because they say they don't want to put their employees in confrontational situations.
The moves come after a string of mass shootings, including one last month inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, which killed 22 customers, the deadliest in the company's history.
There has been social media pressure to get retailers to discourage customers from openly carrying firearms, including from Shannon Watts, a Rochester area native and founder of the group, Moms Demand Action.
She thanked Wegmans after it issued a tweet on Thursday saying the company would prefer customers not openly carry guns into its stores.
BREAKING: @Wegmans changes their stance on open carry. I first spoke with their executives in 2015 and they’ve come a long way. These changes send a strong signal: stand with @MomsDemand volunteers or lose our business.
This Rochester-born mom thanks Wegmans! https://t.co/oZ1l8uTjGa
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 5, 2019