CVS, Walgreens ask shoppers to leave guns at home joining Walmart, Kroger

Walgreens is the latest retailer to ask shoppers to leave their guns at home.

"We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials" the company posted on its website Thursday.

CVS followed suit. "We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores" the company tweeted.

The drugstore chains join Walmart and Kroger who earlier this week released a similar policy.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 73.26 +0.89 +1.23%
WMT WALMART INC. 141.80 +1.15 +0.82%
KR THE KROGER CO. 49.05 +0.55 +1.13%

The changes come amid an effort to reduce gun violence following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement to employees. In July, a disgruntled employee killed two Walmart associates and wounded a police officer at one of the company's locations.

“We have been focused on store safety and security. We’ve also been listening to a lot of people inside and outside our company as we think about the role we can play in helping to make the country safer. It’s clear to us that the status quo is unacceptable,” McMillon said.

“We know these decisions will inconvenience some of our customers, and we hope they will understand,” McMillon said. “As a company, we experienced two horrific events in one week, and we will never be the same.”

The Kroger Co., which last year stopped selling guns and ammunition at its Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest, joined Walmart on the leave the guns at home request.  “Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers," Jessica Adelman, Kroger's group vice president of corporate affairs said in a statement, "We are also joining those encouraging our elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence."


Additionally, Walmart said Tuesday it will stop selling handguns and some types of ammunition in its U.S. stores following recent mass shootings.

The world’s largest retailer will end sales of ammunition for short-barrel rifles -- such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber -- and all handgun ammunition, once it sells its current inventory. Walmart also announced it will stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it still sells them.

Walmart said it represents 2 percent of the market for guns in America today and estimates the decision will drop its market share of ammunition to about 6 percent from 9 percent; its current market share is around 20 percent.

The National Rifle Association on Tuesday criticized the retail giant's decision and said the move will not make society safer.

"It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites," the NRA said in a statement. "Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms."