The drugstore chains CVS and Walgreens announced on Thursday that they are asking customers not to openly carry weapons inside of their stores, CNN reports. The two pharmacies join Walmart, Kroger, and Wegmans in enacting similar policies.
In a statement, CVS said that the move comes amid concerns about the safety of its customers inside of its walls.
“We support the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence, and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure our stores remain a safe environment,” read the statement.
Also this week, Wegmans, a grocery-store chain with most of its business focused in New England and the Mid-Atlantic, joined grocer Kroger in asking customers not to openly carry firearms in its stores.
Similarly, as reported by The Inquisitr, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, also asked customers this week not to openly carry weapons in its stores. Additionally, the retailer, at one time the nation’s largest single retailer of guns and ammunition, announced that it will be phasing out the sales of all firearms and ammunition, save for certain hunting guns and their ammunition.
A Walmart spokesperson confirms that the moves will undoubtedly inconvenience some customers, as well as cost the company market share.
As World Population Review reports, 25 states, plus the U.S. territory Northern Mariana Islands, allow their residents to openly carry firearms in one form or another.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 5, 2019
However, with these new directives, it seems as if the private sector in those states is attempting to limit where residents can legally open carry.
The moves come amid a string of mass shootings, at least one of which took place at a Walmart. Indeed, as a Walmart spokesperson said earlier this week, the decision to scale back its guns and ammunition sales, as well as to forbid customers from openly carrying in their stores, was at least in part informed by a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 22 dead, as well as a fatal incident at a Mississippi Walmart involving a disgruntled employee.
Shannon Watts, founder of advocacy group Moms Demand Action, says that these businesses’s decisions are a step in the right direction.
“Prohibiting open carry sends a very strong cultural signal that companies are siding with the safety of families. They know their customers are with them on this… they want to be on the right side of history but they also know that these actions are good for business,” she said.