CHICAGO (UPI) — A Chicago pastor said he is expressing his “concern and outrage” at retailer Kmart’s decision to sell Easter baskets containing toy guns.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church sent a letter dated March 9 to Kmart officials objecting to the store’s sales of Easter baskets containing plastic water guns and Nerf dart shooters, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.
“I am writing to express my concern and outrage that Kmart is selling Easter baskets, which are obviously for children, with toy guns in them,” Pfleger wrote. “With the increasing gun violence in Chicago and across this country, I am amazed that you would choose to offer toy guns to our children to make them comfortable with playing with them. I am asking you to remove any baskets with toy guns in them from your store’s shelves immediately.”
Kmart officials said Tuesday there are no plans to pull the baskets.
“We respect the opinions of our customers,” said Chris Brathwaite, spokesman for Kmart parent company Sears Holdings. “However, we believe these items are clearly packaged as water toys and are almost identical to items sold by many other retailers.”
The baskets, which start at $9.99, are also being sold at retailers including Meijer, Toys R Us, Walgreen’s and Walmart.