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Publix joins retailers closing ranks on gun-carrying customers

Kristian Dyer

Publix has become the latest major corporation to take a stand on Second Amendment rights. The supermarket chain is asking its customers to refrain from openly carrying guns in stores.

The decision comes days after other large retailers such as Walmart, CVS and Kroger and others have requested customers not enter their stores openly carrying a firearm. Walmart led the way, making the request after the mass shooting at its store in El Paso, Texas in late August.

Publix’s announcement, which has not appeared on its social media pages, presumably includes states where open carry laws exist.

Per the Associated Press, Publix’s statement was one line: "Publix respectfully requests that only law enforcement officials openly carry firearms in our stores."

The issue is a gray line, constitutionally, especially in states where open carry is permitted. The chain, located throughout the southeast, has dozens of locations in states such as Alabama and North Carolina that have among the nation’s most relaxed open carry laws.

In Florida, where Publix is headquartered and boasts over 800 locations, open carry is not permissible by state law.

This plea from large retailers and chains is not new but has been heightened again in recent weeks since 22 people were killed at a Walmart in El Paso. For several years, Starbucks, Panera, Sonic and other restaurants have asked diners to leave their guns at home.

Chains such as Costco have also been on the record telling customers to not bring a firearm into its stores.

In early September, Walmart announced nationally that it would stop selling short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunition.

Publix did not respond to a request from FOX Business for comment on their decision. The chain recorded a strong second quarter, with sales up 6.8 percent from last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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