Target Addresses Firearms in Stores," interim CEO John Mulligan asked customers not to bring firearms into its facilities. Prior to this statement, Target tolerated the open carrying of loaded weapons in store aisles. Target made its announcement following a public pressure campaign. The company joins Costco, Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Whole Foods Market, Chili’s, Sonic and IKEA in asking customers not to enter their establishments with firearms. Target's statement is as follows:
The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision.
As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores. Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. 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.
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.