During a March 25 2015 appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman said the retail food chain will not comply with the demands of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, especially as those demands touch on changing store policy to disarm open-carry customers in states where openly carrying a gun in Kroger is legal.
Schlotman made these comments after Squawk Box host Andrew Ross Sorkin said, “In the fall there [were] these liberal groups who had organized to suggest that Kroger was allowing people to ‘open carry’ firearms in their supermarkets. What was that about and where do you guys stand on that?”
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.
Moms Demand Action launched their campaign against Kroger on August 18 2014. On that very day, Kroger subsidiary Fred Meyer announced they would not be changing their gun policy and the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Kroger released a statement days later, stating that they had no intention of changing their policy either; that they “trust [customers] to be responsible in [Kroger] stores.”
After failing to achieve a policy change at Kroger or Fred Meyer, Moms Demand Action targeted North Carolina-based Harris Teeter on November 20 2014. But Breitbart News reported that Harris Teeter quickly made it known that they would not be changing their gun policy either.
They released a statement in response to Moms Demand Action saying: “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.”
By the way, on December 8 2015 I reported that Kroger’s profits rose “21 percent” after refusing to ban guns.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.