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Murphy, Blumenthal, Esty Call On CT Food Assoc. to Ban Open Carry Firearms in Stores

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) called on the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) to implement a new policy that would prevent individuals from openly carrying firearms into CFA member stores. In a letter to CFA President Wayne Pesce, Murphy, Blumenthal, and Esty emphasized the importance of prioritizing safety for employees and customers, and highlighted various other retailers – including Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s, Target, Panera Bread, Starbucks, and Whole Foods – that have taken up the customer-friendly approach to keep firearms out of their stores. While current Connecticut state law allows anyone with a permit to openly carry a handgun, private businesses can prohibit open carry in their stores.

 

Report by Paula Antolini
January 29, 2016 9:22AM EDT

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Murphy, Blumenthal, Esty Call On CT Food Assoc. to Ban Openly Carried Firearms in Stores

Request follows advocacy by local Moms Demand Action supporters and action by many retailers, including Chili’s, Target, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Chipotle & Whole Foods, to ban open carry in their stores

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) called on the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) to implement a new policy that would prevent individuals from openly carrying firearms into CFA member stores. In a letter to CFA President Wayne Pesce, Murphy, Blumenthal, and Esty emphasized the importance of prioritizing safety for employees and customers, and highlighted various other retailers – including Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s, Target, Panera Bread, Starbucks, and Whole Foods – that have taken up the customer-friendly approach to keep firearms out of their stores. While current Connecticut state law allows anyone with a permit to openly carry a handgun, private businesses can prohibit open carry in their stores.

“There is simply no reason someone would need to bring their gun with them in order to purchase milk, bread, or other necessities at a grocery store. Customers should feel safe while shopping, and employees should not be fearful while doing their jobs,” wrote Murphy, Blumenthal, and Esty. “We write today to urge you to adopt a policy that would prohibit the open carry of firearms in your member stores. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and we look forward to your prompt response.”

The CFA has 240 member companies who operate approximately 300 retail food stores and pharmacies across Connecticut, and employ over 30,000 individuals. CFA’s members include food retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and service providers of large multi-store chains, regional firms, and independent supermarkets.

The full text of the letter is available online and below:

*****

Wayne Pesce

President

Connecticut Food Association

433 South Main Street, Suite 309

West Hartford, CT 06100

 

Dear Mr. Pesce:

We write today to urge you to adopt a policy that would prohibit the open carry of firearms in your member stores. In doing so, you would be sending an important message about your commitment to the safety of your employees and customers. This would follow similar actions by many food retailers, such as Chipotle, Sonic, Chili’s, Target, Panera Bread, Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Although Connecticut law allows for open carry, supermarkets, food retailers, and other private establishments have the legal authority to ban firearms from their premises. There is simply no reason someone would need to bring their gun with them in order to purchase milk, bread, or other necessities at a grocery store. Customers should feel safe while shopping, and employees should not be fearful while doing their jobs. You have the opportunity to take a strong stance in support of creating a safe, welcoming environment in Connecticut’s food retailers.

Again, we urge you to implement a new policy that would prevent the open carry of guns in your member stores. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and we look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Christopher S. Murphy

Richard Blumenthal

Elizabeth H. Esty

109 thoughts on “Murphy, Blumenthal, Esty Call On CT Food Assoc. to Ban Open Carry Firearms in Stores”

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