LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Walgreens joined a growing number of retailers asking customers not to openly carry guns in its stores Thursday, even where it’s legal.
Walmart and Kroger made the same request of its customers earlier this week.
The request to not open carry comes after increasing pressure on businesses to take action to prevent potential mass shootings at stores and workplaces.
We talked with a gun expert at Bud’s Gun Shop & Range in Lexington.
“Particularly in these times, political times, it doesn’t surprise me that they might do something like that but it’s entirely within their purview to do so I think,” says Doug Ramsey, director of outreach education and training for Bud’s.
Ramsey openly carries in his store but..
“Out on the street personally no if you see me I will not have my gun visible. I will have my gun I will assure you of that but it will not be visible,” says Ramsey.
He thinks it’s a disadvantage to openly carry a firearm especially in the case of self-defense.
“We think it’s an advantage to have a responsibly concealed carry and you’ll lose that advantage if somebody sees your gun before you are ready to make that happen,” says Ramsey.
And he isn’t the only one, we talked with a gun owner who thinks open carry is unnecessary but concealed carry, necessary.
“Of course we hope we never have to use em but nobody wants to be taken advantage of either,” says gun owner, Bill Rice.
He feels like Walmart and other stores are doing the right thing.
“I feel like it’s a little intimidating for people to be carrying openly in Walmart and a lot of people are not there expecting to see guns there,” says Rice.
He says it’s a shame Walmart is ending ammunition sales for handguns but he understands why.
“Somebody has to start somewhere and I think controlling the ammo is probably the first and best option cause they can’t take everybody’s guns,” says Rice.
The National Rifle Association has come out against Walmart’s decision saying the retailer is “victimizing law-abiding Americans”.