Shannon Watts @shannonrwatts Founder of @MomsDemand, grassroots army of @Everytown. The @NRA’s worst nightmare. Author of “Fight Like A Mother.” IG: Sep. 10, 2019 1 min read

The important points in this article: Many states make prohibiting open carry onerous: In Texas, for example, retailers must post 4 foot signs in both English and Spanish. Despite that, Walmart and other retailers will post signage in some stores. 

In addition, once these companies make it clear that open carry isn’t welcome in their stores, gun extremists stop shopping there because they feel the companies aren’t supportive enough of gun rights.

And I met with or spoke with the leaders of many of these stores five years ago, and none of them were willing to move to oppose open carry. Because of public pressure, not only do these companies now oppose open carry, but they’ve joined the fight for gun safety.

“We join those encouraging elected leaders to pass laws that will strengthen background checks and remove weapons from those who have been found to pose a risk for violence,” @kroger

“We support the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence,” @cvspharmacy

"We encourage our nation's leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger," @Walmart

As these companies use their platforms and economic power to send a strong cultural signal, @MomsDemand volunteers fight legislatively to strengthen states’ gun permitting systems and to stop legislation that would loosen open carry laws or make it legal in places like Florida.

These decisions by major grocers and pharmacies in the last week show that wading into this issue is the right thing to do, and that women - the majority of their customers - are demanding it. These changes, while incremental, have huge cultural significance and create momentum.

You can follow @shannonrwatts.


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