Target asks customers to leave guns at home - Dallas News |

Target asks customers to leave guns at home

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Target is asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law.

In a statement on the retailer's corporate blog, interim CEO John Mulligan said that Target wants a "safe and inviting" atmosphere for its shoppers and employees.

"Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create," he said.

Target Corp. made the announcement after questions arose in recent weeks about its policy on the "open carry" of firearms in its stores. Additionally, last month, Moms Demand Action stood outside a Target shareholders meeting in Dallas, asking the mega-retailer to stop customers from bringing guns into their stores.

Open Carry Texas said it regrets Target's decision.

"Open Carry Texas is laser focused on our statewide goals of making Texas the 45th state to recognize the right to openly carry firearms and the 32nd to do so without a licensing requirement. 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," the group said on its Facebook page.

The response from the group Open Carry Tarrant County was a little different.

"Target did not ban anything. Don't buy what the anti-gunners are feeding you. Target wanted to shut up the crybabies so they did what other business have done, politely asked people not to bring in firearms openly worn. Never said we can't," the Tarrant County group said on Facebook.

"We don't like it, but we've changed our stance on it as far as unless we're welcome or invited into a particular store, we don't go in there,” said Tammy Koonts with Gun Rights Across America.

Koonts says Target has succumbed to peer pressure and is appeasing groups like Moms Demand Action. She points out that Target is not banning guns and won't be putting up any signs on the issue.

"It's not a win for the gun grabbers unless there's a 30 ought six on the door,” said Koonts. “These stores aren't gonna do that, especially in Texas.”

Koonts is referring to Texas Penal Code 30.06, which prohibits all guns inside a business even for those with a concealed handgun license.

Target’s response, much like Chipotle’s and Chili's, stems from its sale of alcohol.

By law, if Target allows anyone to openly carry a weapon inside its stores, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will take its license.

"Our specific interest in this is geared strictly towards our stakeholders, in this instance, is going to be the licensed permit holders, not the individuals and not the political toggle that's going on between whether or not to allow open or not to allow open,” said Major Victor Kuyendoll with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. “That's not our concern.”

For Moms Demand Action, Target's decision is a victory.

The group's DFW president issued a statement saying in part, "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.”

Target’s stock added 53 cents to $58.90 in Wednesday morning trading.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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