Fresh off an April 11 Nashville rally where only 150 people showed up to support her, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts announced that her gun control group is officially boycotting Kroger until the grocer reverses policy and bans the open carry of guns.
Moms Demand Action launched their campaign against Kroger on August 18, but the grocer quickly told them that they trust their customers to be responsible and would not be changing their policy. Kroger affiliates Harris Teeter and Fred Meyer both told Moms Demand they would not be banning guns either.
Moreover, on March 25 Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman restated his company’s position, saying they reject Moms Demand Action’s requests to ban guns and explained that Kroger has done just fine by following local and state laws with their gun policy.
So Moms Demand Action is stepping it up. On April 14 Shannon Watts announced that Moms were not going to shop at Kroger until the grocer submits to their requests. Watts said: “Moms will put our money will our mouths are and shop at stores that put our safety first.”
“Our new ad shows how Kroger policies that prohibit skateboards, poodles and squirt guns, but allow the open carry of loaded guns are inconsistent and alarming – particularly given that the laws in a majority of states do not require a background check, permitting or even training to open carry a firearm,” continued Watts. “In all states, businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and patrons and until Kroger steps up, Moms will put our money where our mouths are and shop at stores that put our safety first like Safeway and Alberstons.”
In doing this, Watts overlooked the fact that Kroger’s profit jumped “21 percent” for the third quarter of 2014 versus the third quarter of 2013–and this is after refused to ban guns. And she also forgets that Kroger is not the only business to reject Moms Demand Action’s gun-ban requests in the last year, but she is singling them out in hopes that they will cave under pressure.
The truth is, by rejecting Moms Demand Action, Kroger, Harris Teeter, and Fred Meyer, simply followed the path taken by Staples–who kicked Moms Demand off their property in March 2014–and Starbucks, whose CEO refused to ban guns in his coffee stores in spite of pressure from Moms Demand Action.