Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America scored yet another victory in the battle over whether law-abiding citizens have permission to openly carry in department stores, fast-food chains and restaurants when retail giant Target announced on Wednesday that it would kindly ask gun owners to leave their firearms at home.
“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,” said John Mulligan, Target’s acting CEO, in a statement.
“But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law,” he continued.
Aside from starting an online petition that included photos of open carry demonstrators in Target toting their long guns, Moms capitalized off of news last month that a loaded firearm was found in the toy aisle of a store location in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to pressure Mulligan to change Target’s permissive policy with respect to open carry.
Apparently, that effort was enough to move the needle.
“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,” said Mulligan.
“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.”
Delighted by the news, Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, released a statement praising both the retailer and the activists who helped sway Target to go from gun-friendly to gun-free.
“Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home,” began Watts. “Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys. Like Chipotle, Starbucks, Facebook, Jack in the Box, Sonic, and Chili’s, Target recognized that moms are a powerful customer base and political force – and you can respect the 2nd Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time.”
“Such positive safety changes made by some of our country’s leading retailers are proof of the influence of women and mothers,” continued Watts. “As we look toward election season, we hope our legislators are taking notice that when woman and mothers collectively raise our voices – and soon cast our votes, we are determined to leave an impact.”