In the wake of a string of deadly shootings, Walgreens and CVS are following the lead of other major retailers in the U.S. by asking shoppers not to openly carry guns in their stores.
CVS said Thursday on its corporate Twitter account that it’s joining “a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”
Walgreens echoed the request of its competitor in a statement of its own, asking that customers “no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials.”
The policy change at both of the drugstore chains applies even in states where “open carry” is allowed.
Earlier this week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillion sent out a memo informing employees that the chain would be limiting gun and ammunition sales and ending sales of handguns altogether. The decision was spurred by “two horrific events in one week,” he said, referring to a mass shooting inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas and an incident at another location in Southaven, Mississippi.
Changing policies at grocery stores
Wegmans and Kroger also said this week that they will no longer allow customers to openly carry firearms at their stores.
"Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers," Jessica Adelman, group vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement.
Wegmans added that its policy change is also intended to help shoppers and employees feel more comfortable.
"The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don't want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans," the company said Thursday.
In total, five major retailers -- Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, and Wegmans -- announced this week that they would be changing their policies on guns in response to shootings that have occurred in the U.S. in recent months.
In announcing its decision to move away from gun sales, Walmart also urged Congress to develop “common sense” gun safety measures.
"We encourage our nation's leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger," McMillon said. "Congress and the administration should act. Given our decades of experience selling firearms, we are also offering to serve as a resource in the national debate on responsible gun sales."