TIME Guns

Target ‘Respectfully’ Requests No Guns in Stores

Shoppers leave a retail Target on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, in Hackensack, N.J.
Amy Newman—AP

Target aims to keep stores family friendly

Target addressed the “open carry” debate on Wednesday by releasing an online statement that requests customers not pack heat in their stores.

The “open carry” movement supports the right to visibly carry a gun in public and it’s up to states on whether they allow or outlaw it. “Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so,” said John Mulligan, interim CEO. “But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”

Mulligan added that having firearms in Target stores “creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”

Target is not the only chain straddling the “open carry” divide. Starbucks’ Howard Schultz asked customers last September to leave their guns out of their shops. Whole Foods, Buffalo Wild Wings and Ikea have gone even further and are known for no-gun policies in their establishments.

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