BY DOREEN CHRISTENSEN
Publix is the latest retailer asking customers to leave their guns at home.
The Lakeland-based supermarket chain joins the growing chorus of national retailers asking customers not to bring guns into stores in states where it is legal to openly carry firearms.
“Publix respectfully requests that only law enforcement officials openly carry firearms in our stores,” the chain told the Sun Sentinel in a statement.
Florida is not an open carry state, but Publix operates grocery stores in Alabama and North Carolina where open carry is allowed. The chain did not mention concealed weapons. Florida does issue concealed weapons permits.
Walmart announced it would stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition, while requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it. CVS, Kroger and Starbucks soon followed suit.
Walmart made the announcement days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.
After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school massacre in 2018, South Florida March for Our Lives protesters staged a “die-in” at a Coral Springs Publix after the chain made political donations to gubernatorial candidate and NRA supporter Adam Putnam. Publix responded by temporarily halting political contributions.
Putnam lost the election.