“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,” CVS said in a statement.
All of the retailers will still allow law enforcement officers to openly carry firearms.
Kris Brown, president of advocacy group Brady United, said the move by Walmart is “basically telling the NRA that logic does not support what they’ve been saying — this ‘good guy with a gun’ idea is patently false.”
The NRA has repeatedly said that law abiding citizens with guns are the best protection from “bad guys with guns.” It released a statement opposing Walmart’s decision Wednesday.
Wegmans said in its statement Thursday that the policy is intended to keep customers and employees safer, and to help them feel more comfortable in its stores.
“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.
Watts said that in addition to keeping employees and customers safer, asking customers not to openly carry guns in their stores puts these retailers on a new side of the gun debate.
“Prohibiting open carry sends a very strong cultural signal that companies are siding with the safety of families,” Watts said. “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.”