Target (TGT)’s interim CEO John Mulligan wants shoppers to know the retailer won’t welcome guns into its stores.
In a statement on the company’s blog regarding its policy on the “open carry” of firearms in stores, Mulligan said that Target wants a “safe and inviting” atmosphere for its shoppers and employees.
“As you’ve likely seen in the media, there has been a debate about whether guests in communities that permit “open carry” should be allowed to bring firearms into Target stores” he wrote, referring to a controversial issue for the Minneapolis-based retailer in recent months when rifle-strapped protesters in Texas and other states chose the company’s stores to demonstrate their belief in the right to openly display guns in public. According to media reports, at least four times since September, open-carry supporters in the Lone Star State with assault rifles slung over their shoulders have been photographed at Target locations.
“Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so”, continued Mulligan. “But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”
Mulligan pointed out in his note that bringing firearms to Target “creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”
Shares in the $37.2 billion market cap company added 38 cents to $58.75 in Wednesday morning trading.