Illinois-based Walgreens announced the request in a single-sentence statement posted Thursday on its website: "We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials."
CVS released a similar statement, saying it "continually ]reviews] our policies and procedures to ensure our stores remain a safe environment" and requested that "our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores."
Wegmans added in a tweet: "There's nothing more important than the safety of our customers & employees. The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don't want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans. For this reason, we prefer that customers not openly carry firearms into our stores."
There’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers & employees. The sight of someone with a gun can be alarming, and we don’t want anyone to feel that way at Wegmans. For this reason, we prefer that customers not openly carry firearms into our stores.— Wegmans Food Markets (@Wegmans) September 5, 2019
The companies' statements came days after Walmart said it would stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition while requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it.
With its new policy on "open carry," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon noted in an internal memo that individuals have tried to make a statement by carrying weapons into its stores just to frighten workers and customers. But there are well-intentioned customers acting lawfully who have also inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. Like other companies, Walmart is not enforcing an outright ban because they don't want to put their employees in confrontational situations.
Other companies have also responded to public pressure to restrict gun sales. Dick's Sporting Goods announced in March it would stop selling firearms and ammunition at 125 of its 700-plus locations. Kroger's said last year that it would stop selling firearms and ammunition at its Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest. Kroger joined Walmart Tuesday in asking customers not to openly carry their guns when they visit its stores.
Starbucks, Target and Wendy's have also asked customers not to openly carry guns when visiting their stores.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.