Kroger to stop selling firearms to people under age 21

Kroger-owned Fred Meyer stores won’t sell guns to anyone under 21 years old

Kroger Co said on Thursday it will stop selling firearms and ammunition to buyers under the age of 21 at its Fred Meyer stores, becoming the third major USA retailer to set restrictions that are tougher than government regulations.

Like Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods a day earlier, Kroger on March 1 said it will immediately limit gun and ammunition sales to people 21 and older.

Kroger and L.L. Bean said Thursday they will no longer sell guns to anyone under 21, becoming the third and fourth major retailers this week to put restrictions in place that are stronger than federal laws.

The CEO of Dick's Sporting Good, Ed Stack, said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America that he was "disturbed and saddened" by the mass shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

The nation's largest grocery chain sells guns at 44 of its Fred Meyer stores in the West, but said Thursday that it's become clear that gun retail outlets must go beyond what current USA laws requires.

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It is already illegal for licensed gun sellers to sell handguns to anyone under the age of 21, but it is legal under federal law to sell rifles of any kind - including assault-style - to anyone 18 or older. It will extend that ban to Alaska, where customers could get such guns via special order.

Fred Meyer in Warrenton is among the Kroger stores that will raise the age to purchase guns to 21.

Following Wednesday's policy shift on gun sales at Dick's Sporting Goods, one industry analysts believes other retailers that devote a small percentage of their business to hunting will probably follow suit. The Outdoor Industry Association hasn't responded to requests for comment. Walmart stopped selling AR-15-style rifles in 2015. The Ohio-based company only sells firearms at its Fred Meyer locations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

On Thursday, Walmart said in a statement, "We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys". Dick's also said it would stop selling assault-style weapons. The company also said Fred Meyer gun departments are being phased out because of slowing customer demand for the products.

They called the moves common sense steps in line with the company's values and vision.


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