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Superstore chain Fred Meyer to stop selling guns after Parkland

Superstore company Fred Meyer is the first major chain to stop selling guns and ammunition after the Parkland massacre where 17 people were killed.

The Portland, Oregon,-based chain in a statement Friday said it made the decision after evaluating customer preferences. 

The company sells guns at nearly 45 of its 132 stores in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

‘Fred Meyer has made a business decision to exit the firearms category,’ the company said. ‘We are currently working on plans to responsibly phase out sales of firearms and ammunition.’

Fred Meyer said it will stop selling guns and ammunition. The Portland, Oregon,-based chain in an announcement Friday said it made the decision after evaluating customer preferences

The company, a subsidiary of Cincinnati, Ohio,-based Kroger Co., didn’t give a timeline in the statement.

Fred Meyer stores sell a range of goods that include groceries, clothing, electronics, outdoor equipment, furniture and jewelry. Stores also include pharmacies.

The company said the firearms category represents about $7million annually of its revenue and sales have been declining.

‘We made the decision early last week after evaluating changing customer preferences and the fact that we’ve been steadily reducing this category in our Fred Meyer stores over the last several years due to softening consumer demand,’ the company said. 

‘More recently we have been transitioning away from gun departments as a result of our ongoing work to optimize space in our Fred Meyer stores.’

Following last month’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, Fred Meyer said it would stop selling firearms to anyone under 21. 

The company had already stopped selling assault-style guns several years ago, except in Alaska.

Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman High School on February 14 and shot dead 17 people before he was arrested.

Since then, people around the country have debated what restrictions should be in place in terms of purchasing a firearm.

Fred Meyer did not mention the school shooting in its statement Friday.

Other stores announced in the wake of that shooting that they would stop selling guns to anyone under 21 including Walmart Inc. and L.L. Bean. Dick’s Sporting Goods recently banned sales of assault rifles.

Several outdoor chains, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Outdoors and Academy Sports, continue to sell assault-style rifles.