50 signatures reached
To: Michael Ellis, President and COO, and W. Rodney McMullen, CEO, Kroger Family of Stores
Groceries, Not Guns at Kroger
As an employee of Kroger for the past seven and a half years, I am dismayed that Kroger continues to allow customers to openly carry guns in its stores. Kroger’s current company policy to follow state and local gun laws frankly puts employees of Kroger-owned stores at a heightened risk. Lax gun laws in most states--including my home state of West Virginia—make it legal for virtually anyone to openly carry a loaded gun with absolutely NO licensing or safety training; and in most places it’s also legal to obtain a gun without a background check. Additionally, many shootings and gun rallies have taken place at Kroger brand stores in recent years.
As a private business, Kroger has the right and the responsibility to create the safest possible workplace for its employees and its customers. That’s why I’m calling on Kroger to immediately prohibit open carry in its store.
Why is this important?
Kroger spokesperson Keith Dailey has said that Kroger won’t prohibit open carry because: “[W]e don't want to put our associates in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun." But all too often, weak gun laws make it impossible to discern whether someone open carrying a gun in a grocery store is a responsible, law-abiding citizen or a person who poses a threat.
Allowing open carry in stores is not in line with Kroger’s core values to provide a "safe and secure workplace and shopping environment." If our employer doesn’t want us in the position of having to confront customers openly carrying guns, they should enact a policy prohibiting such behavior.
What’s more: Kroger doesn’t allow guns to be openly carried in its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. Why do they allow it in other Kroger-owned workplaces? All Kroger employees—whether executives, managers, cashiers, or customer service representatives like me—deserve a safe workplace.
Kroger should join the growing number of American businesses who have adopted policies to prevent open carry, including Starbucks, Target, Panera, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, Chilis, and Sonic.
Please join me in asking Kroger to prohibit open carry of guns in its stores.