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No Guns Allowed in Target: Retail Giant's Firearms Policy

Image: No Guns Allowed in Target: Retail Giant's Firearms Policy
Target and No gun logo illustration.

By    |   Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 12:22 PM

Regardless of individual state laws that may allow for open carry of certain guns, earlier this year retail giant Target announced it had adopted a “no guns allowed” policy for its stores across the nation. The move to ban guns from its retail locations made Target, with more than 1,600 stores, the third largest retailer in the U.S. to adopt a restrictive gun policy.

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Target Corp.’s decision to adopt a "no guns allowed" policy came on the heels of pressure from advocacy groups for national gun reform such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which launched a very effective media campaign against the retailer with the slogan, “A Mom’s Aim is True.” The group was especially motivated to launch their campaign after photos of open carry advocates shopping in Target surfaced on the Internet. Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts said, “Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys."

The group’s slogan was particularly effective as it played on the irony of Target’s logo, which is similar to bulls-eye targets used at shooting ranges. The Mothers Demand Action campaign strongly encouraged mothers to, “Show Target that moms mean business – by taking yours elsewhere.” The group also launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #OffTarget and asked mothers to shop at other businesses, which they promoted on their website as having “gun sense.”

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Legally, Target cannot actually ban licensed citizens from shopping in their stores while carrying their guns in states where open carry of rifles and shotguns is permitted. Thus, the "no guns allowed" policy is more of a strong request than an actual ban. According to a statement released by Target, their most important consideration is what is right for their guests.

Target’s interim CEO John Mulligan stated that the issue is a complicated one and agreed that retail locations must adhere to local gun laws. However, he also stated, “Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience” that Target strives to create. Thus, the "no guns allowed policy" that retail giant Target has adopted is one that respectfully requests, "guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law."

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws of your state and destination before travel.

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Regardless of individual state laws that may allow for open carry of certain guns, earlier this year retail giant Target announced it had adopted a "no guns allowed" policy for its stores across the nation.
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2014-22-16
Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 12:22 PM
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