According to its company blog, Target is requesting that customers refrain from bringing firearms to its store, even if “open carry” laws allow them to.
“The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision,” interim CEO John Mulligan wrote in a statement.
“It boils down to a simple belief,” he continued. “Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”
Target has been the subject to numerous “open carry” protests in recent weeks, as Mulligan noted.
“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.”
Last month, a loaded handgun was found in the toy aisle of a Target in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. At the time, the president of Open Carry Texas, C.J. Grisham, claimed that the gun had been planted by anti-gun activists.
“Target is currently in the crosshairs of gun control extremists who will stoop to [no] level too low to effectuate their agenda,” Grisham said.
A spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action replied that “only one organization has a history of bringing loaded guns into Target — it’s not us.”
At the time, Target said that it would investigate the incident, but that it did not plan to ban firearms.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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