The largest supermarket chain in the U.S. announced Thursday it will end the sale of assault-style firearms across its stores. It also raised the age requirement for firearm purchases to 21 years old.
Kroger, which sells guns through its Fred Meyer chain at 43 stores across four Western states, cited the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as part of its rationale in announcing the move.
“In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we’ve taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales,” a Kroger spokeswoman said in a statement. “Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers.”
The Ohio-based company said it would also end the sale of assault-style firearms across the chain stores.
“We believe these are common sense steps we can take immediately that are in line with our values and our vision,” a representative for Kroger said.
The move makes Kroger the third major retailer to tighten such regulations in response to the deadly school shooting in Florida.
Kroger joins Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods in announcing this week it will stop selling guns to those under 21. Dick’s also announced it would cease sales of assault-style rifles at its 35 Field and Stream stores and end the sale of high-capacity magazines at all its stores. Walmart stopped selling assault rifles in 2015.
The debate over age requirements on gun sales heated up after suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly used an AR-15 assault rifle to kill 17 students and staffers in Parkland.
Florida state legislators are currently debating a bill to raise the age limit to buy rifles. The measures have faced pushback from the National Rifle Association (NRA).