Earlier this year, Iowa Democrats encouraged a boycott of Wells Blue Bunny, located in Le Mars, Iowa. However, they’re not done targeting beloved Iowa-based companies – now they’re going after Hy-Vee over its gun policy.
Leading the charge is Amber Gustafson, an Ankeny Democrat who previously challenged Republican State Senator Jack Whitver for his seat. Gustafson is the Iowa Volunteer Membership and Community Outreach Lead for Moms Demand Action, a grassroots arm of anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Today I asked the General Manager of the Prairie Trail .@HyVee if he would prohibit firearms in our store.— Amber Gustafson (@AmberForIowa) September 6, 2019
He said no.
I told him I would be shopping at @Walmart and @Target until he does.
I am sad because my Hy-Vee is like family to me. #GroceriesNotGuns https://t.co/MYTPAjqDWk
Not to leave it at one tweet, Gustafson has kept the Twitter tirade up, tweeting things like:
Hey moms with babies in grocery carts, .@HyVee wants you to police armed individuals in their stores for them. 😡— Amber Gustafson (@AmberForIowa) September 6, 2019
HyVee is a huge employer in #Iowa and they do a lot of good for our communities.
But I won’t risk my family’s safety for groceries. #groceriesnotguns https://t.co/uSetErPWFK
While a few have joined her, many have come together in support of Hy-Vee. Iowa Firearms Coalition tweeted:
Thanks @HyVee for standing up for common sense and your law-abiding customers. Now go buy some bonbons to make up for this minor loss of business and legally carry if you choose to. #CommonSensenotGunControl https://t.co/2MZgPashgc— Iowa FirearmsCoalition (@IFC2A) September 6, 2019
Back in 2015, Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety made a similar attempt to badger Hy-Vee into banning the lawful carrying of firearms in their stores. While private companies have the right to create store policy as they wish, which we have discussed here at Caffeinated Thoughts, concerned lawful gun owners took the time to reach out to Hy-Vee’s corporate offices.
Larry Ballard, Hy-Vee’s communications director at the time, reached back out to several emails making the company’s policy as clear as possible:
“Your right to carry a legal weapon in our stores will not be infringed upon, and we have no plans to adopt any blanket policies with respect to signs or other communication with customers. Whether it’s guns or the price of green beans, we let store directors handle any inquiries or concerns from customers who might be uncomfortable with seeing another customer with a gun.”
Hy-Vee has more than 240 stores across eight Midwestern states: Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. They have been around for 88 years, and employ more than 84,000 people. They are employee-owned.
Kudos to the Prairie Trail location’s general manager for standing up for law-abiding Iowans.