In the latest twist in the battle by anti-gun groups to get retail businesses to prohibit carrying firearms in their establishments, an armed, on-duty, uniformed police chief was asked to leave an IKEA furniture store.
Alan Goldberg, chief of police in Takoma Park, Md., was shopping for furniture for his daughter's apartment on July 4 when he was approached by a store loss prevention officer, who asked him to leave.
"He says we have a no-firearms policy and you're either going to have to leave or you can lock your gun in the car," Goldberg told NBC Washington
The Swedish furniture store had signs posted on the front door reading, "Weapons Free Environment," reports The Daily Caller
, but nothing to indicate those restrictions would apply to a serving and uniformed police officer.
Goldberg told NBC Washington, "It isn't the most prudent thing in the world to do to walk around the store in uniform with an empty holster, and I am not going to lock my gun in a commercial parking lot, with people watching me put it in there. That's just ludicrous."
A 35-year law enforcement veteran, Goldberg said he had never been asked to give up his service weapon before.
On July 7, IKEA released an apology, saying, "We regret that there was a misunderstanding of our weapon policy in our College Park store. Our weapon policy does not apply to law enforcement officers. We are taking steps to ensure that this is clear to all our co-workers."
was so annoyed that he posted IKEA's reply on his Facebook page, and, that same day, three armed, uniformed officers were seen at the store.
IKEA has joined other retailers, including Chili's, Sonic, Costco, Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us, Jack in the Box, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market and, most recently, Target in declaring their shops to be gun-free zones.
As of July 9, John Mulligan, interim CEO of Target
, said employees would "respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target, even in communities where it is permitted by law."
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
, a group that has been organizing online petitions asking retailers to ban guns in their stores, said, "Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home."
"Target recognized that moms are a powerful customer base and political force," she said, "and you can respect the 2nd Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time."
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