Gun control advocates used Target's annual shareholder meeting in Dallas to put pressure on the company to stop allowing people to openly carry long guns in its stores.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, one of the most vocal groups opposing open carry, met in front of that meeting Wednesday, across from Union Station, in hopes that their message lingers long after they’ve left.
Protestor Toni Gallego won't shop at Target until the company takes aim at changing its national policy.
She brought her 11-month-old granddaughter, Lilly, to Wednesday’s event, called Stroller Jam.
“I think that open carry is a crazy thing to do,” said Gallego. “I think it’s irresponsible. I think it’s unsafe and I think it’s unsightly.”
Another protester, Carolyn, says the event wasn’t about the right to bear arms.
“We support the Second Amendment, but we also support responsibility, and it is a public safety issue when you have people walking around with rifles,” she said. “Some of these weapons are semi-automatic, loaded.”
Some of the protesters cited photos of open carry advocates seen with long guns in Target stores while shopping. The photos were posted by open carry supporters on Facebook who describe themselves as responsible gun owners trying to take the fear out of seeing people publically display weapons.
Some open carry advocates are pushing for expanded protection of open carry laws in Texas to include handguns.
“I'm fairly familiar with these weapons,” said Stephanie Lundy with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. “And I know what it takes to operate one safely, so the idea that they are in the hands of folks that weren’t required to have any training is terrifying to me, frankly.”
Moms Demand Action is using social media like Twitter to gain momentum.
The protesters say they're not holding their breath that things will change immediately.
“I loved Target, and I won’t be going back there until this stops,” said Gallego.
Moms Demand Action also has more than 160,000 signatures asking Target to prohibit open carry firearms in stores.
Target did not immediately return calls for comment.
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