The retail giant Target has "respectfully" asked that shoppers not bring their guns into stores.
Target posted the announcement on its website this morning:
As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores.
Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.
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...This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.
The reference to "open carry" appears to be directed at the pro-gun group Open Carry Texas whose members have carried guns into Target stores and stood around with firearms in store parking lots.
According to USA Today, the gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America started an online petition asking Target to ban customers from carrying guns in its stores. The petition garnered almost 400,000 signatures.
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts issued a statement today saying, "Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home. Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys."
Moms Demand Action had posted pictures from the Open Carry Texas Facebook page that showed men carrying rifles in Target (pictured above).
Open Carry Texas posted the pictures on its Facebook page in hopes of portraying responsible gun owners and reducing the public's fear of weapons, which apparently backfired.
"Like Chipotle, Starbucks, Facebook, Jack in the Box, Sonic, and Chili's, Target recognized that moms are a powerful customer base and political force, and you can respect the 2nd Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time," Watts added.
Earlier this year, Moms Demand Action voiced their concerns about guns at Target's annual shareholder meeting in Dallas, reported My Fox Dallas-Fort Worth.
Sources: ABullseyeView.com, My Fox Dallas-Fort Worth, USA Today