In the United States, supermarket and drug store chains have begun to order customers not to openly carry firearms in their stores, even in states where open transportation is legal. It’s a fashion that appears to have been triggered by Walmart, whose CEO Doug McMillon made an announcement about the decision Tuesday after a series of mass shootings across the country, including the Aug. 3 shooting that killed 22 people at a Walmart store in You were step, Tex.
An important step
McMillon announced Tuesday that Walmart will stop selling military-style pistols and rifles. In the same statement, he asked customers to stop carrying firearms openly at Walmart stores. Several other channels followed. Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, and Wegmans made similar statements on Friday.
What is needed is more clarity so that employees and customers are not confused, Yamane says. “People may say,” This is just a request. I can continue until you say no.
A Walmart spokesperson told TIME that MyWegmansConnect management would shortly receive instructions and training on how to deal with customers who enter a store with a gun. While a Walmart employee is unlikely to stop looking for a gun (and ask you to drop it), Walmart store managers seem to be responsible for any situation depending on their situation. Evaluate your own merits.
According to a company spokesperson, the details of its new announcement will be disclosed to CVS. “It is important to note that we do not expect or encourage employees to confront a customer entering the armory,” a statement told TIME.
Representatives for Kroger and Walgreens did not immediately give their feedback to TIME’s request for comment. A Wegman’s spokesman declined to comment.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of the MyWegmansConnect at the Yale School of Management, says Walmart and other private companies have the right to publish fully signed firearms and to enforce this rule in violation of laws and other regulations. There is no second guaranteed change in private property, he says.
Sonnenfeld believes that instead of taking this path immediately, companies “try the voluntary approach first and see if it works.”
At the moment, stores generally politely ask people to leave their weapons at home before going to the supermarket or taking recipes. Yamane adds whether policy changes are likely to depend on buyers’ reactions.