Target would be ever so grateful if you left your firearms at home before shopping for home goods.
"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," says CEO John Mulligan in a company press post.
"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."
Why the need for such a "request"? Why does Target CEO John Mulligan feel compelled to ask people not to carry semi-automatic rifles down the DVD aisle?
Well, there's a movement of sorts pushing the boundaries of Open Carry laws in this country. Probably the most notable group, Open Carry Texas, has staged rallies at businesses and other public places to demonstrate what they feel is their right to carry their weapons, unconcealed, wherever they please. They've issued a response to Target's position, saying they will continue to refrain from taking "long arms" into Target stores.
The debate isn't the legality of Open Carry in states where it's legal to openly carry. That's a given. The argument from those opposed to this particular type of gun rights activism is that this frightens people, and even if it is legal and a "right", is there really a reason to alarm the public at large?
Here's what I'm talking about, if you're unfamiliar with the Open Carry activists.
This behavior, mind you, has been denounced by the NRA (yes, that NRA) as "counterproductive."
Target is far from the first major retail chain to express this sentiment. Chipotle and Starbucks have also made public requests of this nature, just to name a couple.
Image via Wikimedia Commons