MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A national gun safety organization has set its sights on Minneapolis-based Target to stop gun-rights demonstrations in their stores.
The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense launched a petition on Wednesday. They’re asking Target’s interim CEO John Mulligan to establish a policy to prohibit people from openly carrying guns in its stores.
“Already we’ve had several different restaurants say that they will no longer allow some open carry…some guns all together in their establishments,” said Shannon Watts with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense.
Last March, several people from the group Open Carry Texas were photographed walking down the aisles of a Dallas Target armed, shopping with assault rifles and semiautomatic guns.
In the U.S., 40 states allow open carry laws, including Minnesota. However, Minnesota does require a permit. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a private establishment can prohibit carrying a pistol “on their premises.”
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder issued a statement saying: “At Target, the safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. Target does not sell firearms or ammunition and, as it relates to this issue, we follow all state and federal laws.”
So far, the mothers group has been successful in getting Starbucks and Chipotle to adopt open carry policies. Watts says Target is the biggest corporation they’ve gone after to date.
Some 80 to 90 percent of Targets guests are woman, according to the company’s website. Thirty-eight percent have children.
“It’s terrifying to have these people sitting with you in a restaurant or standing next to you line,” Watts said. “What companies need to do these days is have a policy around guns, just like they do around smoking and proper attire.”