Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America applauds Target’s decision today to ask customers not to bring guns into its stores in response to a petition launched by Moms one month ago today that gathered nearly 400,000 signatures. Moms also coordinated petition deliveries to their local Target stores and organized #OffTarget weekends, where moms nationwide opted to shop at stores with better gun policies in place. Moms Demand Action introduced the campaign after gun extremists carrying loaded assault rifles frequently gathered in Target stores to demonstrate in support of open carry laws.
In a statement released today, Target said, “Starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law… 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.”
“Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys. Like Chipotle, Starbucks, Facebook, 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.”
“Such positive safety changes made by some of our country’s leading retailers are proof of the influence of women and mothers,” continued Watts. “As we look toward election season, we hope our legislators are taking notice that when women and mothers collectively raise our voices – and soon cast our votes – we are determined to leave an impact.”
Gun extremists had been demonstrating at Target stores in Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, and Virginia in the last several months. And recently gun extremists were told to leave Chili’s and Sonic by store managers who worried for customers’ safety.
Less than two months ago, Chipotle quickly responded to a Moms’ petition by asking customers to leave their guns at home, “because the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.” Earlier in May, Jack in the Box responded to the Moms’ petition by announcing that it would enforce a prohibition of guns in its stores, stating that, “the presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences.”
Moms Demand Action previously launched petitions that garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures asking Starbucks, Facebook, and Instagram to reform the companies’ gun policies to make customers and communities safer. Starbucks announced that guns are no longer welcome in its stores as a result of the campaign. Facebook and Instagram also announced changes to block illegal gun sales after 230,000 Americans signed a Moms Demand Action petition asking for stronger protections against illegal gun sales on the two social media platforms.