On Wednesday Target interim CEO John Mulligan released a statement on the company’s press website, requesting that customers leave their firearms at home. The decision came after weeks of debate and controversy as well as a petition from the gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The petition reportedly resulted from several instances of open carry in or near Target stores, which the gun control group claimed to have be disruptive and threatening to other customers.

Mulligan said that the issue was a complex one for Target’s leadership team, but the company ultimately decided that firearms were “at odds” with its family-friendly environment.

“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,” Mulligan wrote. “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.”

The statement prompted a flood of responses on social media, including both support and criticism for the new policy. The comments from Second Amendment advocates have largely been negative, expressing disappointment and even betrayal from an organization some have previously seen as pro-gun. Open Carry Texas (OCT), an organization dedicated to promoting the legal right to openly carry firearms, said on Facebook that it will honor the request from Mulligan. OCT is accused by some, including other gun rights advocates, of instigating the open carry demonstrations that have led to Target’s decision. The group was also highlighted by many following Chipotle’s request that firearms owners keep their guns at home.

“Engaging in the businesses of interfering with or making a scene at private corporations is something to which Open Carry Texas has never lowered itself, a practice we will maintain,” OCT stated on Facebook.

As with the statement from Chipotle, Mulligan’s request is not an “official” ban on firearms in Target stores.

Image from Marlith on the Wikimedia Commons

What's Your Reaction?

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  • BChris

    Is it safe to assume that Target will be changing its name and corporate logo?

    • Rovidan

      Very good!! I think they just doubled down on it.

  • G-Man

    I actually like the way they handled this issue. As a company they were caught between the two sides. They could have easily given up and put up the signs to make majority of their customers happy, but they decided to handle it with care for both sides.

  • Bsafe

    There are other places to shop. I will take my business elsewhere. Many corporations are catering to small but vocal groups. The majority will speak with with their wallets by shopping where they feel safe.

    • ok

      “small vocal groups, you are of course referring to the pro gun bullies that make reasonable gun owners look bad. Target has right to do as it wishes, and should be respected for such, You may shop as you choose, but do not look like fool as did those parading about with guns to show off as such actually damages image of gun owners. Note have home business and wold not want any fool with gun showing up with it, same for most business’s and customers. Time to respect those who do not want guns, often carried by those with NO knowledge of laws or in some cases fired no rounds or less then 24 to be there, armed but ignorant of law and qualifications

  • Ceapea

    I’t looks as if they just made their stores a “Target” for real, now.

  • Sun City Dude

    If my “Insurance” isn’t welcome in Target,my business isn’t either.
    NO GUNS = NO MONEY

    • M.O.T.L.

      No guns, no money.

    • Northerner

      same here, they dont allow my guns then i dont allow them my money!
      i wont ever step into another target as long as that policy is in effect.

    • Wookie2k

      This is just a request, it’s not store policy to not allow guns in stores. They will not be putting up signs saying “no guns allowed”‘

  • thr33guns

    Vote with your wallets folks. The only way they’ll go back to sanity is if they feel it in their bottom line.

  • jake

    I will target other stores

  • jake

    I will target other stores to spend my money.

  • OldTechHead

    Every time I see another company taking this position it is in response to this group in Texas trying to make a point by carry long guns in places of business. I commend Texas for legalizing open carry but the action of this small group of Texans is adversely affecting the entire country’s 2nd ammendment supporters..

  • L Foy

    It doesn’t resolve any of the problems. Again they ask the law biding citizens to leave their arms home….Do they really think the criminals and lunatics are goung to abide……Just plain ignorant.

    • Wookie2k

      The key part was they “ask the gun owners to leave their guns at home”. This is just a request not a store policy change. You are still allowed to bring guns into Target.

  • J l

    Wow, is it really that dangerous when ya shop? What, don’t like the price show your sidearm? Grow up. I own many guns, use them regularly. However never felt threatened enough to carry one with me while I went to a store filled with women and children. But that’s just me I guess.

    • Big D

      Yes it is, the shooters pick gun free zones to go out with a bang, if you’ve been paying attention.

      When you say “it won’t happen to me” all the living victims and witnesses over the last few years said the exact same thing.

      • Truhawk

        Right! They just made themselves a “Target” for psychos who look for playing
        cessation with no one who can shoot back. Target is far less safe now. Criminals and felons don’t open carry unless they are committing a crime.

    • Randal

      Yeah, because shootings never occur around women and children, criminals would never do that. SMH

    • Sun City Dude

      JI,I’m willing to bet you do not live in a big city like Phoenix where bad things can happen ANYWHERE at ANYTIME of ANY day.We carry here for a reason.

  • keithj

    Just a matter of time before the criminal element finds this out and pries their evil trade on defenseless, law-abiding, citizens.

  • Sharkman

    When a small group, trump 2nd Amendment. Maybe they need a wake up call form the all loving Muslims.

  • Frank

    …because nothing bad ever happens in a gun free zone? Great decision. Really. A political minority triumphs over good sense once again.

  • Noffie56

    Dear Target,
    With your anti-gun rules now in place. I have spent my last dollar in any of your stores.
    I’m sorry to see Target make such a Un American decision against our 2nd Amendment.
    If I can no longer peacefully carry a concealed sidearm, then I will not enter or support
    your stores. I’m also sorry to say this, I do hope your sales and profits go sharply down.
    And I hope you have really bad years ahead. I will do everything I can to see that you fail.
    Long live the Republic!

  • Ace Carter

    OKay… No more Target for me… No more Starbucks either… Thanks for sharing your FEELINGS and gun phobias with us, your former customers…

    • Wally

      What a bunch of red neck trailer trash.

      • Randal

        You talking about Target ownership, right?

  • oz

    And I ask target to kiss my ass.

  • georgeadair

    Gun owners and Christians, the new pariahs. I will take my money elsewhere even though I live in Canada I can not support an organization that does not support who I am. I will do what I did once before and anytime I purchase something somewhere else that Target Canada carries I will be emailing them letting them know I took my business elsewhere and how much. Really P’d off a reserve golf course a few years back when one of our native groups blockaded a road I used a lot and then demanded I pay a $1 toll to go through. Emailed them every time I went through without stopping at their very good restaurant and told them how much I had spent in town that they did without. Even offered to buy the chief lunch if he met me and gave me my dollar back. Never happened and to this day I still do not patronize any business on that reserve.

  • Randy Adams

    You know that the group Moms against everything,blah blah blah is supported by Bloomberg and his ignorant flock of sheep. It’s OK if gays kiss inside of Target regardless of how offensive it is to families or any one else, but Bloomberg is pulling strings with these companies about gun control.

  • We have a few idiots walking around with long guns causing grief for everyone. What do you expect any Company to do!! The best response, in my view, would for the Company to respectfully ask gun owners to conceal carry, but please no open view guns, so the customers are not unnecessarily frightened. But to ask for a total ban, is in my view, extreme. I will shop in stores that I feel my rights are respected. Period.

  • akoby

    Target just lost my business.

  • cwalling1231

    Think I’ll leave my money with another store then!!!!!