US companies taking stands, face retribution over decisions on guns

Associated Press


Kroger will no longer sell guns to anyone under 21 at the stores it owns, becoming the third major retailer this week to put restrictions in place that are stronger than federal laws. The move, following those by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart – and retribution on Delta by lawmakers – emphasizes the pressure companies are facing to take a stand.

The nation’s largest grocery chain has sold guns from 44 of its Fred Meyer stores in the West, but said Thursday that since a mass shooting last month at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, it’s become clear that gun retail outlets must go beyond what current U.S. laws requires.

“In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we’ve taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales,” Kroger Co. said.

The change comes one day after Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, both prominent gun sellers, tightened their company policies, and also a day after students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., for the first time since the shooting there.

And late Thursday, outdoor retailer REI says it’s halting future orders of some popular brands – including CamelBak water carriers, Giro helmets and Camp Chef stoves – whose parent company also makes ammunition and assault-style rifles. Seattle-based REI has been facing mounting pressure from some customers.

Georgia lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that effectively punishes Delta for cutting ties with the NRA, following through on Republican vows to deny a tax break worth an estimated $38 million to airlines after Delta ended discounts for NRA members in the wake of the most recent school massacre. The Atlanta-based airline would have been the chief beneficiary of the tax break.

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