Target has a request for shoppers: Please leave your guns at home.
As of Tuesday, the retailer's gun policy is to "respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target—even in communities where it is permitted by law," interim CEO John Mulligan wrote in a blog post.
If the phrase "respectfully request" or "kindly ask" sounds familiar, that's because it's the language Chipotle, Starbucks, Chili's, and Sonic also used in their newly established firearms policy, while falling short of outright bans.
All the aforementioned establishments have lately been in the awkward position of having to respect the rights of gun activists, while ensuring that all customers feel safe. Last month, Open Carry Texas, a group made up of men with semi-automatic rifles, organized in a Target parking lot in a Dallas suburb. As a response, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a coalition of mothers for gun reform, put pressure on Target to revise its gun policy—which previously followed local laws—with about 400,000 petition signatures and 10,000 phone calls to the company.
Says Mulligan: "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."