Target Joins Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Asks Customers to Not Carry Guns in Stores

Following pressure from Moms Demand Action, Target announced today it would ask its customers to no longer bring firearms into its stores.

Jul 2, 2014 at 12:04PM

Target By Kevin Dooley
Source: Flickr / Kevin Dooley

John Mulligan, the interim CEO of Target (NYSE:TGT), today announced the company would ask its customers to no longer bring firearms into stores, even in those areas where it is permitted by law.

"We've listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved," Mulligan wrote in a blog post. "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."

The popular retailer had faced pressure from the activist group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which seeks "to establish common-sense gun reforms," and faced a petition with signatures of nearly 400,000 Americans.

The news from Target follows announcements from popular restaurants Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks that they would no longer allow weapons in their stores.

Following the announcement from Target today, Moms Demand Action applauded Target for its decision to join Starbucks, Chipotle, and others in asking consumers to no longer bring guns into stores.

"Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call [of] nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home," Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in the group's announcement. "Like Chipotle, Starbucks, ... Jack in the Box, Sonic, and Chili's, Target recognized that moms are a powerful customer base and political force -- and you can respect the 2nd Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time."

In September of last year Howard Shultz, the CEO of Starbucks, said in an open letter that Starbucks is "respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas -- even in states where 'open carry' is permitted -- unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."

Mulligan's blog post had more than 1,000 comments as of noon Wednesday.

Editor's note: A reference to concealed weapons has been removed from this article, as Target's announcement referred to the "open carry" of weapons.

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Patrick Morris owns shares of Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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