Displaying a better understanding of American constitutional law than most politicians, the management of national grocery chain, Kroeger’s, has announced that it will honor local laws with respect to “open carry,” in any state where it does business.

“We don’t believe it’s up to us to legislate what the local gun control laws should be. It’s up to the local legislators to decide to do that.”

The Cincinnati-based chain is the second-largest supermarket chain in the United States with markets in 34 states, including Texas where an open carry gun law went into effect on January 1.

The new law makes it legal to openly carry any handgun, loaded or unloaded, within the State of Texas with a permit, subject to certain conditions and restrictions.

Kroeger CEO, Michael Schlotman, made the announcement for the chain in March when the Texas gun measure was under consideration by the state legislature, saying, “If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are.”

Other grocers in the state, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Randall’s, and Texas-owned H-E-B, have posted warnings to customers prohibiting openly carried handguns, although they continued to permit concealed carry in their stores, creating a scenario where a customer can merely cover their open carry holster with a jacket while shopping in the store.

Kroeger’s official statement acknowledges the differing opinions about the law, while leaving the ultimate decision to the lawmakers elected by the citizens.

“Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping. We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores. And we really haven’t had any issues inside of our stores as a result of that.”

 Permit applicants must complete training on the use of restraining holsters, including those that hang from a belt and tie at the leg, the “traditional” holster familiar from western movies and television shows.


Photo: Texas Open Carry

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