Target is asking customers to refrain from bringing firearms into its stores, via a blog post on its corporate website.
Target "respectfully request[s] that guests not bring firearms to Target—even in communities where it is permitted by law."
Gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America praised the decision, reported Bloomberg Businessweek, saying "Like Chipotle, Starbucks, Facebook (FB), Jack in the Box, Sonic (SONC), and Chili’s (EAT), 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."
The Michael Bloomberg-backed group put pressure on Target to change its policy in states where open carry is legal via a Twitter campaign and petition which received nearly 400,000 signatures. The issue originally came to light following open carry demonstrations at Target locations by radical gun rights groups, including Open Carry Texas, an organization even the NRA can't get behind. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America circulated a photo of that group carrying around semi-automatic rifles in a Texas Target location during a March demonstration, fueling widespread condemnation across the Internet.
"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," said Target's acting chief executive, John Mulligan, in a statement.
Target's blog post received more than 700 comments within two hours of being posted. While the majority of them were supportive, several commenters vowed to disregard the company's request. It seems only a matter of time until Target is tested on how it will respond when someone inevitably does bring a firearm into a location where open carry is legal.