Burlington, WA -Kroger, the parent company of Fred Meyer announced Thursday that they would join two other major U.S. retailers in upping the minimum age to 21 for customers looking to purchase firearms and ammunition at all 43 Fred Meyer locations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The policy change is in response to the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kroger stopped selling assault-style rifles in Oregon, Washington and Idaho at Fred Meyer stores several years ago, and decided to no longer sell those style of guns or fulfill special orders for them in Alaska immediately, a company spokesman said.
Kroger is the third major retailer to tighten policies on gun sales while lawmakers continue to debate how to respond to the latest school shooting.
The 19-year old gunman, a former student of the high school, used a legally purchased AR-15 to murder 17 students and injured more than a dozen others on Valentine’s Day 2018.
Teen survivors of the attack have since called on lawmakers to implement gun safety laws to ensure such a massacre never happens again.
“Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers,” Kroger said in a statement.
“We believe these are common sense steps we can take immediately that are in line with our values and our vision.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart previously announced they would stop selling firearms and ammunition to those under 21.
According to the Times, that leaves Bass Pro Shops, which also includes Cabela’s, as one of the few major retailers still selling semi-automatic assault-style rifles.
Gun Control advocates have long called on the Cincinnati-based Kroger Chain to end the sale of guns at its stores. The New York City employee’s Retirement System in 2016 voted to sell its stakes in Kroger’s Fred Meyer Division in a bid to pressure it to remove firearms from the shelves.
Teen survivors of the shooting have been pressuring businesses to tighten their policies and cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA). Their social media campaigns and call for boycott of the NRA have prompted several companies, including Delta and United Airlines, MetLife Insurance and First National Bank of Omaha to end perks for members of the NRA.