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Kroger Stops Gun Sales To Those Under 21

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Kroger (KR), the nation's biggest grocery chain, will no longer sell guns and ammunition to people under 21 at its Fred Meyer locations, the company said Thursday. The move comes as some of the nation's largest retailers take steps to restrict gun sales in wake of the country's most recent mass shooting.

The retailer, which stopped selling assault-style rifles in its Oregon, Washington and Idaho Fred Meyer stores several years ago, will now also stop taking special orders for the weapons in Alaska, Kroger said.

"Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers," the company said in a statement. "As we refresh stores we are often transitioning gun departments due to softer demand and changing customer preferences."

Kroger announced its new policy a day after Walmart (WMT) said it would no longer sell guns or ammo to those under 21, and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles.

Businesses that sell firearms or have partnerships with the National Rifle Association have been under intense pressure amid renewed national debate over gun control after an 18-year-old used a legally purchased AR-15 to kill 17 students and faculty at a high school in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month.

Students from the school have been vocal in calling on lawmakers to enact legislation to prevent further shootings, holding protests and traveling to Florida's capital to demand action. They also are organizing a March for Our Lives protest for gun control in Washington, D.C., on March 24.

Parkland also inspired a social media campaign calling for boycotts of companies that continue to do business with the NRA, a lobbying group that advocates for gun rights. 

Insurance giant MetLife (MET); rental car companies Avis (CAR) and Hertz (HTZ); security software company Symantec (SYMC) are among the more than a dozen companies that have said they will stop offering discounts to members of the firearms group. 

Such moves have not come without backlash. Some Republicans in Georgia are vowing to punish Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (DAL) for cutting ties with the NRA by blocking tax breaks to the carrier.

Meanwhile, not all companies are distancing themselves from the NRA. FedEx (FDX) on Monday said that while it supports restricting assault rifles and large-capacity magazines to the military, it would not discriminate against NRA members by rescinding its discounts. And Amazon (AMZN) has not responded to calls that it drop the NRA's video channel from streaming on its platforms.

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