Gun control advocates are celebrating yet another announcement from a major retailer curtailing gun sales in their stores. Behind the headline, however, is a set of facts that shows it is a mere publicity stunt, enabled by an agenda-driven media.
The announcement came from the Kroger company, which said it is banning the sale of guns to anyone under 21. The Kroger company is likely known to most Americans as one of the country’s leading grocers. That alone should raise eyebrows for some – few media outlets even pointed out that Kroger Grocery Stores have never sold guns.
The announcement was referring to the Fred Meyer chain of stores, a retailer owned by Kroger. Most headlines failed to mention this, because most people have never heard of Fred Meyer. There’s a good reason for that: they only operate 43 stores in the entire United States. And those stores are in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington state. This isn’t exactly going to cause major ripples in the availability of guns.
But wait, there’s more!
Kroger also announced the one gun most villainized by the anti-gun lobby, the AR-15, will no longer be sold by Fred Meyer. Don’t worry, however: that isn’t even a factor in this announcement. That rifle is only sold in Alaska’s Fred Meyer locations, of which there are two. TWO. And one of them is in Wasilla, Sarah Palin’s home town. We’re pretty sure she’s good with her gun collection right now.
Bottom line, this announcement will have little effect on the gun market. It did, however, give Kroger and Fred Meyer tons of free publicity. And that seems to be the motivating factor here. After yesterday’s Walmart announcement, Kroger wanted in on the action.
Kroger Co., the largest grocery chain in the U.S., is joining Walmart Inc. and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. in tightening gun restrictions following last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Kroger’s Fred Meyer chain, which carries general merchandise in addition to groceries, will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to buyers under age 21, the company said on Thursday.
“In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we’ve taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales,” Kristal Howard, a spokeswoman for the retailer, said in an email. “Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers.”
Kroger’s decision comes after Dick’s and Walmart announced on Wednesday that they would both increase the purchasing age of firearms to 21. Dick’s said it would stop selling assault rifles altogether, which Walmart has not done since 2015. In addition to increasing the age to purchase guns and ammunition, Walmart said it would stop the sale of items “resembling assault-style rifles,” such as airsoft guns and toys.
Last week, a number of companies cut ties with the National Rifle Association after an online boycott called on them to do so. MetLife Inc., Symantec Corp., Enterprise and others said they would no longer offer discounts to members of the Second Amendment rights group.
Fred Meyer also will stop taking orders for assault-style rifles in its Alaska stores. The company had previously stopped offering those weapons at its locations in Oregon, Washington and Idaho years ago, Howard said.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the move.
“We believe these are commonsense steps we can take immediately that are in line with our values and our vision,” Howard said.