Gun Control Campaign Targets Parent Company Of Fry's Food

By Steve Shadley
Published: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 5:52pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 2:04pm
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(via Everytown For Gun Safety)
The hashtag #GroceriesNotGuns is being used to promote activism against Kroeger Company stores.

A national advocacy group wants the parent company of Fry’s Food and Drug stores to prohibit customers from bringing guns into the Arizona supermarkets. The same group has already persuaded a few other major retailers to ban guns inside their businesses.

Arizona’s 120 Fry’s Food Stores are owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger Company. Kroger is the latest big business targeted in a national campaign launched by “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.” 

Jocelyn Strauss is the group’s Arizona manager in Tucson.  She said guns should be off limits inside Kroger and Fry’s stores.

“We support the Second Amendment but people openly displaying their loaded weapons in places we take our children to shop is unacceptable,” Strauss said.

She said her group has launched a campaign aimed at Kroger and Fry’s. The media blitz is called “Groceries Not Guns!” and includes newspaper ads, billboards, social media and word of mouth calling for action.

"It’s not a boycott, but we call it a momcott. We ask our supporters to avoid Kroger stores, Kroger-owned stores,” Strauss said.

She said her group has successfully persuaded Target, Starbucks and Chipotle to ask their customers to enter their businesses unarmed.

Charles Heller is with the gun rights group Arizona Citizens Defense League and opposes the boycott.

“They believe that asking stores to do irrational things will make us safer. If that was true why would we arm police officers? If guns make us less safe why do police carry them?" Heller said.

Kroger officials have not changed their policy in response to advocates who want their stores to go gun-free. Jo Ellen Lynn is Arizona’s spokeswoman with Fry’s.

“We don’t want to put our associates in positions of having to confront customers or enforce gun laws.  That is why our longstanding policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws” Lynn said.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman with Safeway said nobody is allowed into its grocery stores with a firearm other than law enforcement officers. That was the policy before the 2011 incident outside a Tucson-area Safeway when then U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and more than a dozen others were shot. Six people died.