WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — Meijer is asking customers to not openly carry firearms in its stores.
The supermarket chain made the request in a tweet Monday:
“The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority, so we respectfully request that our customers do not open carry firearms at Meijer. We’ve made this decision because open carry can create an environment that makes our customers and team members feel unsafe.”
The tweet comes after several retailers, including Walmart, Aldi and Kroger, announced changes to their gun policies in the wake of two deadly shootings at Walmart stores this summer — including the attack in El Paso.
There’s no word whether Meijer’s tweet is connected to those incidents, and the tweet doesn’t say anything about concealed carry.
It does say the company made the decision based on concerns that a customer seeing someone open carry could create an environment where customers don’t feel safe.
Steven Dulan is a professor of firearms at Cooley Law School. He’s also a board member of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners.
“We’re disappointed as a group that Meijer is participating in this sort of demonization of gun owners and guns. I’m unaware of any incidents at Meijer,” Dulan said. “It’s certainly not going to enhance safety. And in fact, if you read the statement, it says that it enhances the feeling of safety. And I honestly think that’s part of the problem in this area of public policy, is that too many people ‘feeling’ and not looking at the facts.”
Dulan says Meijer has every right to make the request but believes the tweet could hurt the retailer.
“There’s already been chatter on the internet starting with the Walmart announcement several days ago about boycotts,” Dulan said. “So maybe it could possibly affect their bottom line if enough people choose not to spend their money in a place where they don’t feel welcome.”
News 8 reached out to Meijer for clarification and comment, but has not heard back.