Walgreens’ Announcement Followed Similar Decisions from Walmart and Kroger to Protect Shoppers and Employees by Prohibiting Open Carry
Polling Released Today Showed that Companies “Have More to Gain Than They Put at Risk” by Advocating for Gun Safety
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, applauded Walgreens’ announcement that it will prohibit open carry of firearms in its stores. Walgreens, which released a statement and thanked Moms Demand Action on Twitter, made its announcement two days after both Kroger and Walmart also announced open carry prohibitions. Moms Demand Action began pressuring Kroger and Walgreens in 2014. In 45 states, it’s legal to carry loaded firearms in public with no permit or safety training. Ending open carry in stores will help to keep Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens shoppers and employees safe.
“Walgreens is the third major retailer just this week to recognize that their customers and the vast majority of Americans are demanding safety from gun violence, and the Senate would be wise to take note of this ongoing seismic shift when they reconvene next week,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “These companies have their finger on the pulse of what their customers want, and Americans will not fall for ineffective half-measures or lip service on this issue.”
“First come corporate wins, and then comes Congress,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’re grateful to Walgreens’ leadership for acting on this issue, and we hope Senate leaders are watching this sea change. Business leaders would only take this step if they were fully confident that their customers are with them. We’ll take this momentum to Washington next week, when Congress is back from recess.”
Polling released today from Edelman Intelligence showed that a strong majority of Americans feel favorably towards businesses that support gun safety measures. The poll — taken before recent moves by Walmart and Kroger to prohibit open carry in their stores — shows broad and bipartisan public support for a variety of actions by CEOs and companies, including supporting legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales, funding gun safety education and prohibiting open carry in their stores. Based on these findings, Edelman Intelligence advised that businesses “have more to gain than they put at risk” by advocating for gun violence prevention.
Other notable findings include:
- Nearly half of Americans would be more likely to purchase from a company if its CEO has taken action to address gun violence and just 11 percent are less likely to purchase from that company;
- The majority of Democrats, Republicans and gun owners would feel more favorable toward a company whose CEO advocated for legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales; and
- Consumers are three times more likely to respond positively than negatively to a CEO or company that takes action to address gun violence.
Walgreens, Walmart and Kroger join a growing and diverse list of corporations that have taken a stand on gun violence prevention, including retailers like Levi Strauss & Co., TOMS, DICK’S Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean and REI, financial services companies like Citibank, Amalgamated Bank, BlackRock and PayPal, and tech companies like Facebook and Salesforce, to name a few. A sample of corporate action on gun violence prevention is available here.