A gun control group on Tuesday released a video ad attacking grocery chain Kroger for its refusal to change store policy and prohibit the open carry of firearms.
The ad – produced by gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America under the umbrella of Everytown for Gun Safety – harkens to one of the groups’ previous ads in the campaign against Kroger, which ran still photos in print and online editions of several national newspapers in September. The ads each showed two people standing side by side, one carrying a gun and the other doing something against Kroger store policy.
The new video ad opens with a teenager skateboarding into a grocery store and then up and down several aisles, a theme in a previous still photo ad now put into motion.
“Uh, you can’t be skateboarding in here,” an older man wearing a shirt, tie, sweater vest and name tag tells the teen.
In the next scene, a man standing behind a deli counter tells a woman that her child can’t have a water gun in the store.
“There’s going to be water on the floor, OK, it’s a safety hazard,” the deli man tells the woman just before cutting to a long shot of a customer walking through the store with what looks like a rifle slung across his back. “We’re just trying to protect our customers.”
Another employee then tells a woman with a dog that she’s got to leave because “It’s a health hazard.”
The camera then follows close behind the man and we see he’s got an AR on his back as an employee says “You can’t be in here with that, someone could get hurt.”
The next shot reveals it’s the sweater-vested manager talking to the skateboarding teen and not to the AR-toting shopper.
The man with the AR walks to the checkout counter while another customer looks him up and down.
“A lot of things are not allowed inside Kroger grocery stores,” a line of text reads as the man with the AR gets his groceries and walks out of the store. “But this isn’t one of them.”
In another move to pressure Kroger, Moms Demand Action asked its supporters and others who shop at the supermarket to instead buy groceries from a competitor and then post their receipt amounts on the group’s website. Called “Groceries Not Guns,” the group claims to have kept more than $30,000 out of the cash registers of Kroger and its affiliates.
“[T]his gives us another clear alternative of where to shop alongside other gun sense stores like Target, Costco and Whole Foods, especially while Kroger has not yet responded to our call to keep customers and employees safe from gun violence in their stores,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, in an emailed statement. “Time and time again, when state or national laws don’t protect children and families, Moms Demand Action has and will continue to work with businesses to establish and keep policies in place that protect consumers and employees.”
Kroger’s chief financial officer in March reaffirmed the company’s position that local laws should dictate where gun owners should and should not be able to carry their guns.
“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,” CFO Mike Schlotman told CNBC’s Squak Box. “So we follow local laws; we ask our customers to be respectful to the other people they are shopping with. And we really haven’t had any issues inside of our stores as a result of that.”
Kroger owns some 17 brands and made $98.4 billion in fiscal 2013.
The gun control group initially targeted the supermarket giant in August with a petition featuring a picture of an Open Carry Texas member openly carrying a firearm in a grocery store.