Target has nicely asked customers to refrain from carrying weapons in their stores. Interim CEO John Mulligan made the decision along with Target's executive leadership team, explaining their stance in a blog post on their website on Wednesday.
The debate has been looming for several weeks, as other national chains, like Chipotle and Starbucks, have banned weapons from their shops too. However, Target has not outright rejected weapons in their stores. They are "respectfully requesting" gun owners do not bring weapons into their shops, "even in communities where it is permitted by law."
Some gun rights activists took this wording as a loophole. Open Carry Texas posted on Facebook that they "we will continue to honor our months long policy of not taking long arms into Target stores or any other business." This is a very precise specification: long arms. Smaller weapons that fall under Concealed Carry laws will still be making their ways into Target stores. Concealed Carry permits allow gun owners to carry a hidden holster with a small weapon, generally a handgun, on their person. In some cases, it allows the weapon to be hidden within a car as well.
The Wire reached out to Target to explain the details of this statement, and Target's stance on Concealed Carry. "This isn't a policy change, this is a position," said Molly Snyder, a member of Target's public relations team, in a phone interview. "We are requesting that people do not carry any firearms in our stores, including concealed carry. We will continue to follow local laws, however, concealed weapons are included in our position." Target also confirmed that they have not sold any guns or gun paraphernalia in their stores since the early 1980s, and have not sold realistic toy guns since the 1990s.