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Last month, in the face of increased controversy over open-carry practitioners parading through its aisles with guns slung over their shoulders, Target issued a statement. It read, in part, "[Target] won't prohibit legal firearms and will instead follow state and federal laws on the issue." Target shoppers responded by calling for a boycott, and mothers staged "stroller jams" outside stores in protest.
Today, Target interim CEO John Mulligan writes that he has had a change of heart on the matter. Taking to the store's blog, he explains his thoughts:
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.Predictably, the comments section is filled with passionate debate. Many point out that Target hasn't outright banned guns from its stores, with one shopper asking, "Nice request but when they show up carrying today, in droves, to protest your decision, what are you going to do? Will you ask them nicely to leave (they won't) or will you have them removed from your private property?" Good question.
We've listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved. 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.
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.
· Target Addresses Firearms in Stores [A Bullseye View]
· Target: We Won't Ban Your Guns [Racked]
· Gun Activists Don Huge Rifles to Shop Target's Baby Aisles [Racked]