After Dick's Raises Gun-Buying Age, Another Huge Retailer Makes Surprising Move


Yet another major retailer has now caved to liberal pressure on gun sales. Following the lead of Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, one of the most well-known store chains in America has decided to raise the minimum age of firearm purchases from 18 to 21.

On March 1, Kroger announced that it will have age requirements that are more strict than federal law. Your response might have been a lot like ours: “Wait a minute, Kroger sells guns?”

Yes, apparently. More specifically, some stores that are under different brands but owned by Kroger sell firearms in certain parts of the country.

“Kroger sells guns at 43 of its 133 Fred Meyer locations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington,” explained The New York Times. “It said that, in those stores, customers would not be able to buy either guns or ammunition until undergoing a background check that would verify their age.”

It must be pointed out that a background check is already required for firearms purchases from federally-licensed dealers. Kroger is going beyond this requirement and apparently running similar checks to make sure that someone is 21 before making a gun purchase, despite the legal age being 18.

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“We follow all state and local laws regulating the sales of sporting-related firearms at our select general-merchandise Fred Meyer stores,” said company spokesperson Kristal J. Howard. “Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers.”

Howard did not address the discrepancy between the minimum age written in federal law and Kroger’s new in-house policy.

Walmart made a similar announcement regarding its purchase age limit on Wednesday. Dick’s Sporting Goods went one step further, and declared that it was pulling all AR-15 type rifles and “high capacity magazines,” to use their term, from store shelves.

Let’s be clear: A private business has the right to sell — or not sell — whatever they want, within the bounds of legality and public decency. If Kroger has determined that ammunition and firearms sales aren’t in their best interest, that’s their prerogative… but there are a few unavoidable questions at the same time.

Will you continue to shop at Kroger after this?

Here’s one: Will this move actually stop any violence? The answer is almost certainly “no.”

An inconvenient fact for gun-grabbers is that so-called “assault rifles” just aren’t used in that many crimes to begin with.

“In 2014, only 248 individuals were killed with a rifle, whether that rifle was a semi-automatic ‘military style’ AR-15 or AK-47 or merely a classic wood stock, bolt-action hunting rifle,” we previously reported based on FBI data.

“The number of deaths by rifle pale in comparison to deaths by beatings and stabbings, of which there were 3,827 in 2014,” we explained. Numbers for more recent years are similar.

Keep in mind, those statistics are for all rifle murders. AR-15’s are a small sub-set of that, and “AR-15’s legally bought by a person under age 21” is a tiny sliver of that number. There’s also the pesky fact that as AR-15 sales and concealed carry permits have gone up, violent crime has dropped like a rock.

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In other words, Kroger and all the other retailers are virtue-signaling for positive press, while their token actions will do next to nothing to stop murders. But at least they get to feel smug for a short while.

And that is the problem in a nutshell. It seems that so many of the decisions are about looking good for a fleeting moment while ignoring the real statistics and facts on gun crime. They’re pandering to a narrative, and that helps nobody in the long run.

Press “Share on Facebook” if you think these age increases are empty gestures!

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.