Unbeknownst to many gun owners, in July 2014, Target joined several other prominent stores that request gun-owning customers leave their weapons at home. Among other retailers, include Applebees, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Jack in the Box and Chipotle.
Target’s news release states, “Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with family-friendly shopping and work experience[s] we strive to create,” according to interim chief executive John Mulligan. “...[W]e request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”
In an uproar among gun enthusiasts, the request has been ignored among gun carrying activists, whether it is open carry or concealed carry. In response, Texas’ group, Open Carry Texas, a pro-gun rights group made a web statement in response to Targets’ request. “Open Carry Texas regrets Target’s decision to ‘respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target.’ While this is on a ban on legally possessed firearms in its stores, we will continue to honor our months long policy of not taking long arms into Target stores or any other business.”
The key to this significant statement is “long arms,” because this indicates the group still intends to shop with concealed, holstered gun belt clips and handguns.
Texas’ law allows long guns to be carried in public, but handguns are required to be concealed. The group limits handguns to concealed carry, but a recent split in the group is causing former members to show up in stores with both handguns and long guns in plain sight.
A Target spokesperson said they are simply “requesting that people do not carry any firearms in their stores, including concealed carry. We will continue to follow local laws, however, concealed weapons are included in our position.” Target claims they have no plans to enforce their requests, because it has not considered a prohibition.
The plans by these companies to “make people feel safer” quickly backfired, as groups that are more militant began showing up with military-style assault rifles, which quickly made customers feel even more uncomfortable.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, quickly began voicing his liberal opinion, lobbying for Target to ban firearms in stores. Michael Bloomberg, an advocate for strict gun regulations, seems to make headlines whenever a controversial gun topic appears in the news these days.
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