LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Kroger is raising the minimum age to buy guns at its Fred Meyer stores, the third major retailer to place restrictions on gun sales that exceed federal law.
Like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods a day earlier, Kroger says it will immediately limit gun and ammunition sales to people 21 and older.
Kroger owns Fred Meyer, which sells guns at 44 stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. There are no Fred Meyer stores in California.
Assault-style gun sales were ended everywhere but Alaska several years ago, Kroger said. Special orders for those guns are now unavailable in Alaska.
The nation’s largest grocery chain said Thursday that recent events show that gun retailers need to take action.
“Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers,” the company said in a statement. “As we refresh stores we are often transitioning gun departments due to softer demand and changing customer preferences.”
In Southern California, Kroger owns Ralphs and Food 4 Less, neither of which sell firearms.
The changes comes in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where a troubled teenager killed 17 people there, mostly children.
Dick’s Sporting Goods started the shift in policy Wednesday among major retailers when it announced it would stop selling assault-style rifles in its stores, as well as high capacity ammunition magazines. Additionally, it will stop selling guns to anyone under 21 years of age.
The company’s Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said the gun used by gunman Nikolas Cruz during the Parkland shooting was not, but could have potentially been one of theirs, since Cruz did buy a shotgun at a Dick’s store in November.
“While it was not the actual gun, nor type of gun, used in the shooting, it could have been,” Stack said in a statement.
Walmart followed suit later in the day, saying it would no longer sell guns or ammunition to people under the age of 21. They have not been selling assault-style rifles since 2015.
Lindsey Bier, with the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, told CBS2 Wednesday that companies like Walmart and Kroger are hoping they are reflecting the views of their customers.
“Corporations look at their key stakeholders, which include both their employees, as well as their consumers,” Bier said.
“It can be risky,” she added. “However, the data indicate that, oftentimes, while Americans want to do business with corporations that align with their own political views, oftentimes, they’re not aware of the work or the stances that corporations are taking.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)