| DALLAS, July 2
DALLAS, July 2 U.S. retail giant Target has
asked people to keep guns out of its stores after being the
subject of campaigns in Texas where people have brandished
firearms in store aisles in their attempt to secure more rights
to carry guns in public.
"Starting today we will ... respectfully request that guests
not bring firearms to Target - even in communities where it is
permitted by law," Target chief executive John Mulligan
said in a posting on its website on Wednesday.
Groups advocating the unlicensed, open carrying of handguns,
have taken rifles and shotguns to restaurants and retailers for
campaigns to build support for their cause, pointing to laws in
places like Texas that allow for the unlicensed, open carrying
of long guns.
"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," said Mulligan.
A number of national eateries, including Chipotle Mexican
Grill Inc, Sonic Drive-In, Chili's Grill & Bar and Jack in the
Box Inc have also asked patrons to keep their firearms at home.
An advocacy group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in
America waged a social media campaign to boycott Target after
photos circulated of members of open carry groups in Texas
walking through stores with rifles and shotguns slung over their
"Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people
carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we
shop for diapers and toys," founder Shannon Watts said in a
Open Carry Tarrant County, a gun rights group behind
campaigns that have drawn some of the most attention, said on
Wednesday members will continue to exercise their right to carry
weapons in public.
"They just want to shut up the cry babies who support more
victims for criminals. The Unarmed!," the group said on
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jim Loney)