The gun-control group that convinced Target to ask shoppers in operating areas where carrying guns is legal to leave their firearms at home now has Kroger in its crosshairs.

In a petition addressed to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen and president and COO Michael Ellis, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America asks the retailer to prohibit the open carry of guns in its stores.

“The history of shootings at Kroger stores underscores the risk of allowing open carry demonstrations and rallies to continue,” said Shannon Watts, founder of the group, in a statement. “It’s impossible for any employee to ascertain the intentions of an individual carrying an assault rifle — and given the potentially deadly outcome of mistaking a criminal for a protester, or vice versa, it is imperative that the largest supermarket retailer in the nation stands up for public safety.”

Kroger said in a statement that although it expects customers to be respectful of others while shopping, it will not ask associates to confront gun-toting shoppers. 


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"The safety of our customers and associates is one of our most important company values. Millions of customers are present in our busy grocery stores every day and we don't want to put our associates in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun. That is why our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores."

The request follows similar petitions directed at Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s and Jack in the Box.

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