Retailer Target last week put itself in the crosshairs of gun advocates by requesting shoppers not bring firearms into its stores — even where local laws allow.
"Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so," the notice says. "But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target — even in communities where it is permitted by law.
"We've listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved. In return, we are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members," the notice says.
Target didn’t just arbitrarily decide to make the request, according to reports.
“The retailer was pushed into the national debate after Texas gun-rights groups posted photographs of their members carrying rifles through the aisles of stores near Dallas,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
In response to that, a second group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun-control organization funded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, launched a campaign to pressure the retailer to forbid the open carry of guns. The group's founder, Shannon Watts, led an online and social-media campaign to boycott Target, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Open Carry Texas group began toting rifles through Target stores — and other establishments — in effort to make carrying large firearms in public appear normal, according to the reports.
But Target apparently isn't just talking about open-carry guns, but concealed weapons, too.
What I also found interesting was League City Police Department's use of social media to seek public opinion on this hot topic.
The police department posted the notice and went on to say that the League City zip code had the highest number of concealed weapons licenses in Texas. Police officials refrained from giving opinions on the post that generated a lot of heated response.
Target’s request is just a request, unless it invokes 30.06, which allows a residential or commercial landowner to post signage that preemptively bars licensed persons from entering the premises while carrying concealed weapons. It's a Class A misdemeanor to fail to heed compliant signage.
So, do you normally pack heat while shopping? Does it bother you if others do? Does the thought of someone walking down the aisles of Target with a rifle make you jittery?
Will you respect the request? Or would such a request inspire you to stop shopping Target altogether?
Some analysts said Target's decision would appease its core market. In other words, most people who shop at Target aren't usually toting guns. What do you think?