Groceries not guns: Moms picket Kroger annual meeting

Groceries not guns: Moms picket Kroger annual meeting
Picketers in support of Kroger also demonstrated outside the meeting. (FOX19)
Picketers in support of Kroger also demonstrated outside the meeting. (FOX19)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America picketed outside Kroger's annual investor meeting Wednesday, demanding that the store stop allowing the open carry of guns in its stores.

According to the group, the protest comes after they received more than 300,000 petition signatures asking the story to change their policy.

"I don't think someone should be carrying a gun around in the store for safety reasons," said Kathy Frank of Edgewood. "I have my daughter with me all the time so I just don't think that you should be able to have weapons in a public place like that."

Mary Reed was shot three times alongside Rep. Gaffy Giffords at a Safeway grocery store in 2011 and she attended Wednesday's protest outside of Kroger, saying she doesn't want to see that happen to anyone else.

"I would prefer not to shop in a place where I have to look at every single shopper and determine their intent with a weapon," Reed said.

But one local family praises Kroger's gun policy.

"If you want a deterrent, you know, obviously an open carry lets everybody around know not to try to do anything because there are people who are armed," Bill Mitchell said.

"Kroger has a pharmacy. How many people are addicted to drugs and breaking into the pharmacy and stealing them?" said Theresa Mitchell. "Do you want somebody who is legally allowed to carry and been trained to shoot saving your life or do you want to be standing there without any protection whatsoever?"

Moms Demand Action has asked for a meeting with Kroger officials to talk about the store's gun policy. So far, Kroger has declined but store officials say safety is a priority and they don't want their associates confronting a customer with a gun. They also say their policy does not violate any state or local laws.

This movement comes in light of gun violence in and around stores and open carry demonstrations organized by gun extremist groups that brought gunmen with loaded assault weapons into stores.

In June, a woman shot and killed her husband then herself in Georgia at a Kroger parking lot. And in July, a woman threatened to shoot and kill an employee at a Nashville, Tennessee location.

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Group calls out Kroger's gun policy

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