Walgreens announced Thursday it will join several other major retailers in asking customers to not openly carry guns in its stores.
“We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials,” the chain said in a brief statement.
The company is the latest to make such an announcement in the wake of several recent mass shootings. Walmart, the world's biggest retailer and the site of a mass shooting last month in El Paso, Texas, announced this week it would ask customers not to open carry guns and also said it will end handgun sales and the sale of certain kinds of ammunition.
Other retailers have followed Walmart’s lead despite heavy criticism from pro-gun advocates, including the National Rifle Association, which accused Walmart of “shameful” capitulation to “the anti-gun elites.”
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, in a statement, had said “the status quo is unacceptable” and called for action on gun violence by Congress and the White House.
“We encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” McMillon wrote.
“We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness,” he added.
Survivors of the Aug. 3 El Paso shooting have sued the retailer, claiming insufficient security measures on its part exacerbated the shooting.
CVS announced Thursday it will implement a policy similar to Walgreens', tweeting out a statement in which the pharmacy giant said, “We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”
CVS Health Updates Firearms in Stores Policy pic.twitter.com/0ODx6ewJNX— CVS Health (@CVSHealth) September 5, 2019
Updated at 3:06 p.m.