NewsCovering Colorado


People react to retailers' request to stop open carry of guns in stores

Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 20:09:48-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Retailers like Kroger and Walgreens are following in Walmart's footsteps in it's request for people to not openly carry guns in their stores.

It comes after the recent mass shootings in Texas and Mississippi.

Like Walmart, other stores want to avoid tragedies like El Paso and Southaven, but they also want to stop any panic, fear, or possible evacuations that could happen if people see customers with a gun in the store.

People on both sides of this issue are now reacting.

Paul Paradis is the owner of the gun shop Paradise Sales in Colorado Springs. While he doesn't really shop at places like Walmart he still has a strong opinion on its latest change to stop open carry in its stores.

Paradis said, "I think they're punishing a group of people that aren't the carry isn't anymore dangerous to the public than concealed carry is and for people to insinuate that someone carrying a gun is a danger that's problematic because for the most part they're not."

Julie Carr, a volunteer for Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America, said, "Open carry is dangerous and we're extremely grateful that America's two largest retailers, Walmart and Kroger, agree."

She believes this will allow employees and customers to be safe in stores.

"No mom needs to wonder if the man in the milk aisle with a rifle strapped to his back is a threat to her children."

While Paradis and Carr may not agree on the open carry change they both have calls to action to stop the violence.

Paradis said, "We've got to do something to continue the process and ensure that people that are designated mentally ill get some kind of psychological help."

As for Carr - she hopes national leaders will step in.

"We'd like to see them take the lead from these retailers and do what's necessary to end gun violence."

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said as of Thursday there are 46,318 active concealed handgun permits in El Paso County.

To be clear - Walmart is not changing it's policy on concealed carry by customers.