Kroger hardens stance on guns

After recently moving to restrict sales of firearms and ammunition to those 21 and older, Kroger (KR) is pulling publications that focus on assault-style rifles from store shelves.

The nation's biggest supermarket chain, along with Walmart (WMT) and Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), tightened rules on firearms in response to the mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 students and administrators last month. The alleged assailant, Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle in that attack.

Kroger confirmed that it will stop selling assault rifle-themed publications, while noting it would continue to sell other gun magazines. Bloomberg News was the first to report that Kroger is pulling some gun periodicals. 

"We regularly review the company's assortment of periodicals and make merchandising decisions based on customer preferences," a Kroger spokesperson said.

Students across the country walked out of their classes this week to show solidarity with the students in Florida, who are also planning a March 24 demonstration in Washington and other U.S. cities. 

Kroger halted sales of guns and ammo at its Fred Meyer chain to customers under 21. Walmart made the same move, while also getting rid of toys made to look like assault-style weapons. Dick's said it will no longer sell assault-style rifles and hiked its minimum purchase age for firearms to 21.

Retailers have taken some blowback for the changes. A 20-year-old Oregon man filed lawsuits this month against Dick's and Walmart, claiming both discriminated against him when refusing to sell him a rifle.

In reporting disappointing holiday sales on Tuesday, Dick's CEO said the recent changes to its firearms policies would dent future sales and could lessen the number of shoppers coming into its stores.