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Target "Respectfully Requests" Customers Not Bring Firearms Into Stores, Gun Advocates Fight Back

Mothers, Guns, Target, Texas

Another week, another company "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into their stores. Another angry rebutal from Open Carry Texas. Another onslaught of Facebook posts from gun activists calling for a boycott.

It's the same every time, the only change is the company. This time, it's Target.

Target's interim CEO John Mulligan posted on the company's corporate blog today, saying, "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."

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Mothers, Guns, Target, Texas

The rest of his statement reads:

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. 

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.

Target spokesperson Molly Snyder clarified to ABC News that this change in policy is a "request and not a prohibition."  (Snyder continues that Target has no "plans for proactive communication to guests" in states where open carrying is legal.)

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The announcement comes in the wake of Starbucks and Chipotle making similar stances, while managers at Chili's and Sonic were filmed refusing service to customers openly carrying AK-47s. The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gathered 400,000 signatures asking Target to ban guns. 

Meanwhile, Open Carry Texas, the de facto voice of gun lovers, posted on their Facebook that they "regret" Target's decision. "Time and time again, businesses that have asked guests not to bring legally possessed, self defense firearms into their establishments have seen their employees and customers victimized by criminals preying on the openly defenseless," they write, though they note that they will not "make a scene" at the private corporation.

Target's Facebook page has been flooded with comments, a majority of which are thanking the company for taking a stance. Others fall in line with OCT's statement. And then there are these:

Target Bans Guns, Facebook Facebook

Our favorite logic! Because, as the old saying goes, guns don't kill people. People with guns who rob stores after those stores respectfully request customers leave their firearms at home, so no one with a gun can shoot the other person with a gun kill people. Make sense?

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