Grocery Giant H-E-B Says No To Open Carry Ahead Of New Texas Gun Law


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.

Right underneath a warning that drinking liquor on premises is a crime is the following notice,posted online by a handful of Twitter users in recent days:

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.

H-E-B competitors including Whole Foods and Safeway SWY +% subsidiary Randall’s have already posted notices prohibiting open carry in their Texas stores from the moment the law comes into effect.

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