While I didn’t agree with the decision, I understood why Walmart asked people to no longer open carry in their stores. It was a bad decision that will do nothing to increase the safety of customers in their stores, but I understood where they were coming from. I guess I can even understand why Kroger joined them. After all, they’d had a recent shooting in one of their stores, too.
However, it seems the chorus is growing, even if only slightly.
In a post on their store’s website, they issued a very simple press release. It simply reads, “We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials.”
Yet another store that doesn’t want you openly carrying a firearm in their store.
Now, what does this mean?
It doesn’t necessarily mean much of anything, but it may be significant too. What matters are the details.
You see, these stores are simply asking people not to open carry. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these stores are going to change their policies. Many states allow stores to put up signs meeting certain requirements and turn themselves into legal gun-free zones. It’s possible that these announcements will also signal a change in policy where these stores will post such signs.
It’s also possible that they’ll do no such thing and just respectfully request that gun owners comply with their wishes. It could be nothing more than a virtue signal at most.
Which is more likely? That’s a good question that I don’t have an answer to. I’m not privy to those meetings and I don’t have any sources who are either. All I can do is speculate.
What I can do, however, is remind these stores that those who open carry firearms are almost never the aggressors in criminal activities. Basically, criminals don’t open carry. Bad guys conceal their firearms because they don’t want anyone to know they’re armed.
Now, I’m not saying that concealed carry means bad guy. I’m a fan of concealed carry for a number of reasons. I’m just stating the facts, facts that these retailers would do well to understand.
That said, it’s their property. They can do whatever they want on their property. If they want their stores to be gun-free zones, that is certainly their right. I’m a proponent of property rights, an idea that also informs my support for the Second Amendment, so I’m not going to be a hypocrite and tell them they have no right to restrict guns on their property.
What I will do, however, is remind them that gun owners have rights too, one of those is the right to utilize someone else’s services instead. They can take their money to a competitor who isn’t so squeamish over people exercising their Second Amendment rights.
To those who open carry, though, I’d like to remind you how important it is to be sensible about the practice. If you know people are going to freak when you carry an AR-15 into a store, don’t do it. No good will come of it, as we have come to see.
The last thing any of us should want is to see more businesses joining this trend.