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Publix asking customers not to openly carry guns in its stores

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Publix customers who open carry may want to consider leaving their weapons at home.

The Lakeland-based grocer sent 8 On Your Side a statement, requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it.

“Publix respectfully requests that only law enforcement officials openly carry firearms in our stores,” the statement reads.

Florida is not a traditional open carry state, but the grocery store chain operates in states like Alabama and North Carolina where open carry is allowed.

The chain joins retailers including Walmart and Costco, that have asked shoppers not to openly carry firearms. Walmart recently made the request after a mass shooting attack in El Paso Texas in which seven people died.

Other big retailers, such as Walgreens, CVS and Target have announced similar policies. Starbucks has had such a policy since 2013.

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