Just days after gun extremists held an open carry demonstration at a San Antonio Target, the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was denied access to the same store’s parking lot for a Stroller Jam, a friendly gathering of moms and children with their strollers, to continue its call on the company to prohibit the open carry of guns in stores. Upon arrival at the San Antonio Target yesterday, two-dozen moms and children were turned away due to a store policy prohibiting demonstrations of any kind. On June 13th, ABC’s Nightline documented a demonstration by gun extremists at the very same Target location.
“We were told to leave because Target prohibits demonstrations due to its commitment to providing a ‘distraction-free’ shopping experience – yet we know that just days ago, gun extremists were openly carrying guns and demonstrating in the same place,” said Jamie Adams, Texas Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We have a question for Target: how are moms and their children openly carrying strollers and signs classified as a distraction while gun extremists openly carrying assault rifles are not? The time has come for Target to stand with moms and ensure the safety and security of our children.”
Coupled with the events in San Antonio, the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action was asked to halt petition-signing during their Stroller Jam at a Richmond Target on Saturday. The petition to Target follows demonstrations by a gun extremist group that brought loaded semi-automatic weapons into the aisles of Target stores in a number of states (photos here) – and comes on the heels of a real gun being found in the toy aisle of a Target in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and a previous event in which a Target employee accidentally shot himself with a gun dropped by a customer. More than 350,000 people have signed on to a petition to ask Target Corp. CEO John Mulligan to prohibit the open carry of guns.
The Stroller Jams in Texas and Virginia are part of a series of events, including the delivery of petitions to individual stores and #OffTarget weekends for supporters. Every weekend until Target prohibits the open carry of firearms, Moms will shop at stores with better gun policies. In a previous Moms campaign against Starbucks, Moms employed the same strategy and chose to buy coffee elsewhere on Saturdays (#SkipStarbucks) that resulted in the company’s announcement that guns are not welcome in its stores.
Gun extremists have been demonstrating at Target stores to promote their agenda of intimidation in Texas, Alabama, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Despite ongoing demonstrations, Target has still not instituted policies prohibiting open carry.
In states like Texas and Virginia where no background checks or training are required to buy semi-automatic rifles and carry them openly in public, businesses have a duty to protect their employees and patrons. The laws in a majority of states allows people to openly carry loaded rifles in public with absolutely no training, permitting, or minimum age requirement. Combined with estimates that 40 percent of gun sales occur without a background check in the U.S., this means that people in most states can legally carry loaded rifles in public without ever having passed a criminal background check.