The grocery chain Trader Joe’s, with over 450 locations nationwide, is asking customers to leave their firearms at home. Since Texas made open carry legal, the company placed signs at their Texas locations banning open carry.
They haven’t, however, clarified their open carry stance in any of their other locations that are found in open carry states.
A PR rep spoke with Forbes and provided the following statement on their policy, mentioning that they follow all state and federal laws.
“In general, at Trader Joe’s, the policies we create and follow are for ourselves and cover our own behavior. We have an explicit policy that prohibits our Crew Members (employees) from possessing firearms—or any other type of weapon—while performing job duties, while on company property, or while at company-related events. We do not presume to control our customers’ behavior through grocery store policy.
Our approach has always been to follow local laws; for example, New Mexico specifically prohibits ‘open carry’ in stores that sell alcohol for off-site consumption. In Texas, we follow a new change in the law (Section 30.07, effective Jan. 1, 2016), maintaining what has been in place: basically, openly carried handguns will not be allowed in Trader Joe’s stores in Texas.
We feel gun policy should be addressed by governmental and law enforcement agencies.
To be clear, we do not welcome weapons of any kind in our stores and never have. While there are laws in place allowing for openly carrying firearms, we would very much prefer that customers not bring guns into our stores.
We acknowledge and respect the rights of everyone involved in this important, often emotionally charged, debate. As we do with other important issues related to our business, we listen to our customers and Crew—and use the feedback we receive in our decision making.”
Recently, the gun control group Moms Demand Action started a campaign to try and strong-arm Trader Joe’s into banning open carry across their entire network. This isn’t the first time the group has done this, and they’ve been known to cause problems before. One example is their excessive push for Kroger to ban firearms in their locations, only to be met with resistance from the company itself.
In other news related to the Kroger story, let’s not forget the time a concealed carrier stopped an attack on an elderly man in a Kroger parking lot.
But you know, armed citizens are evil and chaotic.