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UPDATE: Gun owners respond to Walmart and Kroger gun policy change

MERCER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) As mass shootings become more and more commonplace, Walmart and Kroger are both changing their policies regarding  guns.

Walmart is no longer selling ammunition for hand guns and short-barrel rifles, requesting customers to refrain from openly carrying firearms including ‘open carry’ states.

Kroger has followed suit, also requesting customers to not openly carry weapons inside of their grocery chains.

Some people are applauding the stores, with one local resident openly saying “Thank you Walmart,” on our WVVA Facebook page.

But for some gun owners, they’re expressing major concerns.

Randy Duncan is a Mercer County resident and has been a legal gun owner for over 30 years.

Duncan says regardless of any gun policy, in ‘constitutional carry states, he’s keeping his gun by his side.

“Lock me up first and give me three meals a day,” said Duncan. “I’m disabled and can’t defend myself and you don’t know who’s out there anymore. It’s alright to carry this gun and leave us alone.”

Kenneth Sifford is also a gun owner and says he and his wife are on opposite ends of the gun debate.

“She believes there’s no place in America for assault riffles,” sad Sifford. “I think there should be tighter checks but I will never be for banning them.”

Some people side with Sifford’s wife, with an NBC correspondent stating, “Those [assault riffles] are weapons of war and they should not be found on our streets.”

The National Riffle Association released this statement, condemning Walmart:

“The strongest defense of freedom has always been our free-market economy. It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America’s fundamental freedoms. The truth is Walmart’s actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimize law-abiding Americans. Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty.” NRA

The biggest question from many residents, how Walmart and Kroger will enforce their conceal request in ‘right to carry’ states.

Jennifer Roberts

Multimedia Journalist

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