Boise-based Albertsons Companies on Saturday became the latest chain of supermarkets to ask customers not to openly carry firearms within its stores, write Idaho Press reporters Tommy Simmons and Emily Lowe. The request — voiced in a tweet from the Albertsons Companies official Twitter account Saturday — comes after fellow supermarket giants Walmart and Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer, made similar requests to customers. Walmart’s upper management made that decision following a mass shooting at one of the company’s El Paso stores, in which 22 people were killed.

“We see our grocery stores as a hub in local communities & we’re proud to serve our neighbors,” Albertsons Companies’ tweet from Saturday reads. “We want our stores to feel safe & welcoming for all, so we respectfully ask customers to not openly carry firearms in our stores unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.”

The remark drew criticism from Greg Pruett of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, who tweeted it was “such a disappointment that a company based in the most conservative state in the country is caving to gun grabbers.”

Walmart earlier this month requested that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it, and announced it would stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition once the current inventory runs out, according to the Associated Press. Walmart’s statement specified that the open-carrying message is a request, not a change in company policy.

Last year, Kroger announced it would no longer sell firearms or ammunition. Those items were only sold at Kroger’s 132 Fred Meyer stores, which are located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, according to CBS News.

You can read Simmons' and Lowe's full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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