SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Kroger announced on Thursday, March 1, that they were raising the age to purchase firearms and ammunition in their Fred Meyer stores from 18 years old to 21.
Kroger said they made this decision in response to the tragic events in Parkland, Florida and elsewhere. They said they feel this was a common sense step they can take immediately that keeps their stores in line with their values and vision.
The only store affected by this change in the Eugene-Springfield area is the Springfield store on Q St. This location doesn't sell firearms, but it does sell ammunition, while the other two located in Eugene don't sell either.
Shoppers at the Springfield Fred Meyer seemed pleased overall with the policy change. Some felt the lower age set before was simply creating more crime and violence.
"You know, it's one of the reasons why it breeds a school shooting scenario. And with more guns, instead of more protection, we get more violence and more crime," said David Walbridge, a Springfield resident.
Some of them said this was a great step in the right direction. They were happy to see action being taken after such a tragic event in Florida and they hoped this would give incentive to other retailers and possibly authority figures to incite more change.
"People have lost their families because of this, and it's not good. And I hope that people hear me, and I hope that the president is watching too," said Aaron Case, another Springfield resident.
Kroger said they took another "common-sense steps" when they stopped selling assault-style rifles in all of their Oregon, Washington, and Idaho Fred Meyer locations.
They assured shoppers that when they do sell guns, they have a thorough and vigilant background check in place, and any employees allowed to sell those firearms are required to undergo vigorous training and a federal background check of their own.