CHICAGO (CBS) -- A group of suburban residents were planning a protest Tuesday morning at the grand opening of a new Mariano's grocery store, over the company's policy allowing customers to carry concealed weapons.
Activists with "Safer Communities" and the "Stop Concealed Carry Coalition" were planning to picket at the opening of the new Mariano's in Northbrook at 8:30 a.m., because it does not prohibit customers from carrying guns while shopping.
"What Mariano's tells us is that Chicago has an ordinance that says they cannot let people bring guns into their stores, where they're serving alcohol. Well, doesn't Mariano's care about the safety of the people in the suburbs? It shouldn't be a matter of Mariano's just meeting the minimum requirements. Mariano's should be taking affirmative steps to make its customer safe," said Lee Goodman, one of the protest organizers.
Mariano's does not allow guns in Chicago stores, because of an ordinance prohibiting concealed guns in a place that sells liquor. In the suburbs, there is no such restriction, and Goodman said that's a problem.
"It's very well-known – and there are lots of studies to prove it – that the more guns there are in public, the more people who will get shot. Mariano's does not let people carry guns in its Chicago stores, but it's letting people carry guns into its suburban stores. We don't think that's fair, and we don't think it's safe," he said.
Mariano's parent company Roundy's defended its policy regarding firearms in its stores.
"Roundy's abides by all local firearm laws in the states in which we operate. In Illinois, concealed carry is allowed under the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act, and unless otherwise limited in local ordinances, an individual in compliance with that Act is allowed in our stores," the company said. "We respect that there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue and believe that our customers can be respectful to one another when shopping at our stores."
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