Moms Demand Action launched yet another campaign against a large U.S. business, this time Kroger. The campaign was aimed at getting Kroger to change their policy and ban firearms from being openly carried in their stores. Kroger’s current policy is to abide by the local laws in each state they operate stores in. Moms Demand has had a poor record in their campaigns to pressure businesses to change their policies, failing to get McDonalds, Starbucks, Staples, and Facebook and Instagram to change their policies and ban guns (a few have asked their customers to pretty-please not openly carry, but have not banned open- or concealed-carry of guns, and some have flatly rejected their petitions entirely). Like many of their previous campaigns, Mom Demand Action loses – again – and Kroger becomes the latest company to reject their petition.
Moms Demand took out ads, billboards, and launched a social media campaign that included sending text messages to Kroger. Moms Demand ridiculously claimed “Kroger’s refusal to enact a gun sense policy creates a dangerous environment for customers and employees alike.” In fact, Kroger’s gun policy is exactly the gun policy (i.e. the law) of each state in which they operate, allowing or prohibiting open carry, based on the law there.
Kroger has opted to maintain their position that state legislative bodies are responsible to decide legal policy, rather than having retailers legislate. ON CNBC’s Squawk Box, Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman said they will not comply with the demands of Moms Demand Action, stating “our policy is to adhere to the local gun laws. If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are. We don’t believe it’s up to us to legislate what the local gun control laws should be. It’s up to the local legislators to decide to do that.” This is consistent with Kroger’s statement last August when they held to their existing policy: “Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping.” Kroger said they recognize the beliefs of both sides, care about customer safety, and also don’t want to burden employees with enforcing a ban, putting them “in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun.” Despite claims by the paid-for political pollster used by Moms Demand that Kroger would lose more business than they saved by not complying with their demands, Kroger’s stock has gone up by 21%.
This is the latest in a series of losses for Moms Demand Action. Staples wouldn’t even meet with them, sending a security guard to collect their petition and escort them off the property. Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) did not ban gun ads on their sites, only stating they would ensure ads did not indicate a willingness to break the law. Starbucks asked ‘pretty-please’ don’t openly carry, but would not change their policy outright and stated even if someone does openly carry they will still be served. Moms Demand Action tried to spin their failure with Starbucks (they petitioned for a total gun ban) as a “win”. Kroger’s flat rejection is an utter loss for them, but a win for the millions of law-abiding gun carries everywhere in the country. The CDC, along with the National Research Council and Institute for Medicine reported that lawful gun carry actually deters crime, reduces injury to potential victims and saves lives. Law enforcement overwhelmingly supports lawful gun carry. Now that is actual gunsense.