Target's Request Is Not a Ban on Guns in Its Stores

Image: Target's Request Is Not a Ban on Guns in Its Stores

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 10:52 AM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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Gun-control advocates may have jumped the gun in praising a request by Target stores that customers leave their weapons at home.

The controversy began with a July 2 web post that was prompted by "questions circulating in recent weeks" about Target's policy on "open carry" laws. In the post, Target's interim chief executive, John Mulligan, said, "Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create" and "we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law."

However, Mulligan added, Target's "approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so," which initially raised questions about how or whether the "request" would be enforced.

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, issued a statement praising Target for recognizing "that moms are a powerful customer base and political force — and you can respect the Second Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time."

The group launched a campaign to get Target to join other stores, such as Starbucks, Chipotle, and Jack in the Box, in asking people to refrain from carrying guns on its premises.

Target's request, however, is not a ban on guns in its stores.

Asked in an interview with The Wire whether customers carrying guns would be told to leave, Molly Snyder, a Target media representative, said that because the store is not prohibiting guns, "we do not plan to communicate with our customers at this time."

Like Target, Chipotle has no plans to actually prohibit customers from carrying weapons in states that allow concealed carry.


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