Retail giant CVS Pharmacy announced Thursday a ban on customers carrying guns in stores as a response to several public mass shootings. The company said in a statement on Twitter, “We support the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence, and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure our stores remain a safe environment. We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.”
CVS Health Updates Firearms in Stores Policy pic.twitter.com/0ODx6ewJNX
— CVS Health (@CVSHealth) September 5, 2019
It’s likely CVS is following Walmart’s lead. This week Walmart announced that it will stop selling handguns and certain ammunition and “request that customers no longer openly carry firearms into Walmart or Sam’s Club locations in states where open carry is permitted.” Walmart’s move followed two shootings this summer that terrorized employees and customers in its stores in El Paso, TX and Southaven, MS.
Walmart’s policy change sparked criticism from gun rights lobbying group the National Rifle Association, which called the move “shameful.” Further, NRA wrote in its statement, “The truth is Walmart’s actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans. Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty.”