Supermarket operator Albertsons Companies said on Saturday it would ask customers not to openly carry firearms at its stores, joining an array of retailers and store chains this week who changed their gun policy in light of several mass shootings in the United States.
"We want our stores to feel safe & welcoming for all, so we respectfully ask customers to not openly carry firearms in our stores unless they are authorized law enforcement officers," the company said in a tweet.
Thirty-one states allow the open carrying of a handgun without any license or permit, although in some cases the gun must be unloaded, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The announcement comes as other retailers such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Kroger Co (KR.N) tweaked their gun policy, with Walmart saying it would discontinue sales of ammunition for handguns and some assault-style rifles in stores across the United States.
Albertson Companies operates stores across 34 U.S. states, according to the company website.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said this past Thursday it would stop shoppers from carrying firearms in its Walgreen stores, joining Walmart Inc and Kroger Co in tweaking its gun policy following several deadly shootings in the United States.
"We are joining other retailers in asking our customers to no longer openly carry firearms into our stores other than authorized law enforcement officials," the pharmacy store chain said in an e-mailed statement.
Earlier this week, Walmart Inc said it would discontinue sales of ammunition for handguns and some assault-style rifles in stores across the United States.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru and Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell and Shinjini Ganguli)