Target Responds to Outcry Over Open Gun Carry Policy, 'Respectfully Requests' Guns Be Left at Home
byKaitlin StanfordJul 03, 2014
Last month, the Michael Bloomberg-backed moms group, Moms Demand Action in Gun Sense, launched a petition calling on Target to ban guns from being carried openly within their stores. Their concern came after several photos went viral, showing customers walking through their local Target while carrying semi-automatic weaponry, as though they were preparing for battle.
For gun supporters, the images merely showed citizens executing their rights, but for anti-gunners (and more specifically, for many parents across the nation), the images were a frightening sight to behold in a popular family store.
After much debate, and 400,000 petition signatures later, Target has responded. And while they have not gone so far yet as to officially ban guns in stores, they are urging customers to leave them at home.
A recent blog post on Target's website reads:
"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."
Almost immediately, the Everytown for Gun Safety Facebook page posted a victory response, thrilled that the petition (which had been hosted on their site) had spurred action from the retail giant.
"Almost 400,000 people signed our #OffTarget petition — and more than 10,000 supporters like you called their headquarters!" the post read. "It's a victory that tells all of corporate America: We won't keep quiet when the our families are put at risk."
But while Target's response was a victory for some, others are not happy about it.
"This is just to shut up the anti-gunners," Kory Watkins commented on Target's website. "Going back to Target with my gun today and tomorrow and whatever days I want."
But for every negative comment Target received, there were also plenty of positive ones.
"Thank you, Target, for displaying #gunsense and promoting public safety as a civic duty," wrote commenter S.K. Boss.