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Walgreens, CVS join Walmart, Kroger in asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in stores

Key Points
  • Walgreens and CVS join Walmart and Kroger in asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in stores.
  • This follows a wave of deadly shootings in the U.S.
  • Walmart CEO Doug McMillon earlier this week asked other retailers to act as well.
A customer exits a CVS Health Corp. store in Oakland, California, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019.
Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Drugstore chains Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS Health on Thursday joined Walmart and Kroger in asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in their stores, even in states where "open carry" is allowed, unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.

"We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials," Walgreens said in an emailed statement.

CVS posted a similar message to its corporate Twitter account.

Walmart started somewhat of a ripple effect after CEO Doug McMillon issued a memo Tuesday to employees saying it would make some drastic changes in the wake of two deadly shootings at Walmart stores over the summer. In addition to asking shoppers not to openly carry weapons in the store, the world's largest retailer plans to halt the sale of some types of ammunition and pulled out of the handgun category entirely.

In McMillon's memo, he encouraged other retailers to act "to make the overall industry safer."

"We are exploring ways to share the technical specifications and compliance controls for our proprietary firearms sales technology platform," the CEO said. "This system navigates the tens of millions of possible combinations of federal, state and local laws, regulations and licensing requirements that come into effect based on where the firearm is being sold and who is purchasing it. We hope that providing this information, free of charge, will help more retailers sell firearms in a responsible, compliant manner."

Kroger on Tuesday evening said that it would begin asking customers not to openly carry guns in stores, and that it recognized "the growing chorus of Americans who are no longer comfortable with the status quo and who are advocating for concrete and common sense gun reforms."

Target back in 2014 started asking customers not to bring firearms into stores. Starbucks asked visitors the same in September 2013, only a few days after a mass shooting left more than a dozen dead at Washington Navy Yard.