Interim CEO John Mulligan announced on Wednesday that effective immediately, Target will “respectfully request that guests not bring firearms” into its stores.
Even in open carry states where it is legal to do so.
“We’ve listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved,” Mulligan said. “In return, we are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.”
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With the announcement, Target sides with the Michael Bloomberg-funded “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” which called on the retail giant to ban open carry of guns in its nearly 1,800 stores nationwide.
The gun control group was reacting to pro-gun rights groups such as Open Carry Texas, who have staged a number of incidents in several states were members open carry firearms in Target stores.
The National Rifle Association strongly criticized the demonstrations, calling them “downright scary.”
“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,” Mulligan said.
Moms Demand Action has previously been successful in prompting Chipotle, Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Sonic Brands and Brinker International, which own’s Chili’s, to ask customers to not bring firearms into their restaurants, according to USA Today.
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