Customers react to grocery store chain's 'open carry' rule - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Customers react to grocery store chain's 'open carry' rule

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Customers react to grocery store chain's 'open carry' rule (WFSB) Customers react to grocery store chain's 'open carry' rule (WFSB)

Connecticut is an open carry state, meaning anyone can carry a pistol around unless it's a gun-free zone.

One state grocery store chain is letting customers exercise that right, but it has made other customers uneasy.

Local, family-owned chain Caraluzzis, which operates stores across several towns in Southwestern Connecticut, is coming under fire from both pro and anti-gun groups after a customer carried a pistol at their Bethel location.

The store didn't kick the customer out, but it did ask him to conceal it.

Caraluzzis said their policy has always followed state law, but after the scrutiny, the stores are trying to compile a single policy to be used as a suggestion statewide. 

"We know that any decision to adjust our policy will result in a disappointment and negativity on one side of the debate or another," Caraluzzi's President wrote in a statement.

The Connecticut Food Association has even stepped in.

"This is a safety issue for us. This is about people who shop in our stores and our employees, being in a safe, comfortable environment," said Wayne Pesce of the Connecticut Food Association.

Customers were split on the open-carry policy.

"I think you should be able to carry wherever you want to, if you have a permit," said Gary Lange of Middlebury, "You go out to Colorado, it's like a totally different ballgame. Everybody walks around with their guns hanging off their hip."

"I don't see any reason for people to be walking around Bethel with a sidearm showing," said Ellen Hanington of Bethel.

The Food Association should make a decision soon.

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