"We support the efforts of people and groups working to prevent gun violence and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure that our stores remain a safe environment," a statement from CVS said.
All retailers will still allow law enforcement agencies to carry firearms openly.
Walmart is the largest retailer in the country. CVS and Walgreens are the largest and second largest pharmacy chain. Companies have thousands of stores in places where customers may oppose restrictions on when and where they can carry weapons, but all have now aligned themselves with the arms reform movement.
"The ban on open carry sends a very strong cultural signal that companies are on the side of family safety," says Shannon Watts, founder of the advocacy group Moms Demand Action, which has spent years urging these and other companies to stop allowing
"They know that their customers are with them for that matter … they want to be on the right side of the story, but they also know that these actions are good for business," Watts said.
Chris Brown, president of the Brady United propaganda group, said Walmart's move "basically tells the NRA that logic does not support what they say ̵
The NRA has repeatedly said that a law respecting citizens with weapons is the best protection against "bad people with weapons". He released a statement opposing Walmart's decision Wednesday.
Wegmans said in a statement Thursday that the policy is intended to make customers and employees more secure and help them feel more comfortable in their stores.
"The sight of someone with a gun can be worrying and we don't want anyone to feel that way about Wegmans," the company said.