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Shoppers Boycott Grocery Store Over Guns

6:45 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
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Harris Teeter

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Lisa Fullington and at least one of her neighbors in Greensboro say they are boycotting Harris Teeter until the grocery store chain decides to ban concealed carry weapons in its stores.

Fullington says two weeks ago she walked into the Harris Teeter store on West Friendly Avenue and saw a man walking around with a gun strapped to his hip. She felt threatened and asked to talk to a manager.

But the manager told her it's legal in North Carolina and the store policy is to follow state law.

"I don't think you need to bring your gun into a grocery store, a shopping center, and I'm a little peeved that Harris Teeter can't put up a sign that says no arms, concealed or otherwise, allowed in the store," Fullington said Wednesday in her home explaining that she has decided to no longer shop with the grocery store chain. It's an about-face for a woman who's been a Harris Teeter faithful for years.

"I'm not joking, I'm not going there. I think it's dangerous to shop there," she said incredibly. "I just can't imagine that they want people in their stores, it's dangerous! I mean, those people, I don't know who is trained and who isn't"

And Lee Atkinson is fighting right along with her.

"It's a place I go all the time, so I can't solve all the places where people are with guns but I can start where I shop," Atkinson said.

This past summer, lawmakers in Raleigh expanded the concealed carry law which now allows guns in bars, restaurants and other areas unless the owner forbids it.

"I don't want to be in a place where people are packing a lot of guns. I don't want the possibility of bullets whizzing past my head," added Atkinson.

Gun owners WFMY News 2 spoke with reiterated that concealed carry is legal and Harris Teeter is doing the right thing by allowing it.

"If they intend on using a fire arm, a sign on a door isn't going to stop them anyway. They are already out to break the law," said Greg McBee.

Others say it's just a fear of the unknown.

Both women now boycotting Harris Teeter say since they started their protest, they've found it's going to be more challenging than they thought.

Most other large grocery chains like Target, Lowes Foods and Food Lion have the same policy. Spokespeople with the stores all told WFMY News 2 their policy is to follow state law and state law allows concealed weapons.

The state law also allows concealed weapons in parks and playgrounds.

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