On January 1st, a new law will come into effect in Texas allowing for licensed handgun owners to openly carry their weapons in the same places they might normally bring a concealed one, including many restaurants and retailers.
But they’ll be out of luck if they want to open carry in H-E-B, the Texas grocery giant that is the largest private company in the state and 15th in the country, with $22 billion in revenues in 2014.
Eagle-eyed H-E-B shoppers might have noticed new signage on the doors of the supermarket chain’s 316 Texas stores in December.
Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.
Billionaire-owned H-E-B has issued no public statement on its decision to disallow open carry — one that is entirely legal for a private business, as long as compliant signage is displayed.
So far, Kroger KR +0.00% has not. The country’s largest grocery chain has long said it would “follow state and local laws” on open carry. Ohio-based Kroger has been on the receiving end of a campaign by Michael Bloomberg-backed gun safety group Moms Demand Action for well over a year, including a six-figure ad spend and a rally outside its annual meeting.
H-E-B did not return multiple requests for comment from Forbes.
By Clare O’Connor for Forbes.com