Ban the Open Carrying of Firearms in Store Chain


Target: John J. Mulligan, Target Interim President and CEO/CFO

Goal: Enforce a policy against openly carrying firearms in Target stores

A national mothers’ group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has called for Target to change its policies on the open carrying of guns. Advocates for stricter gun laws claim that Target stores in many states have recently been used as the site of demonstrations by groups condoning open-carry policies. In particular, the state of Texas has lax guns laws which permit individuals to carry rifles openly, and has been the site of many such open-carry demonstrations in Target stores.

Members of the mothers’ advocacy group have argued that Target is a place where many families shop and where many teens work. The group heartily condemns the demonstrations of individuals who flaunt open-carry laws. The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Rifle Association has put forth conflicting responses to the demonstrations. Initially, a spokesperson called the Target demonstrations “…downright weird… and downright scary,” but the group has since rescinded this perspective and continues to support open-carry laws. As executive director Chris W. Cox put it, “…our job isn’t to criticize the lawful behavior of fellow gun owners.”

Demonstrating using guns in public arenas is “downright scary.” Intimidation tactics using guns in public stores where children are often present is despicable. That lawful protections of the right to carry a deadly weapon should supersede an individual’s right to feel secure in a public place is a travesty.

The Moms Demand Action coalition has already effected change in several national chain stores, including Chipotle, Starbucks, Chili’s, Sonic Drive-In, and Jack in the Box. Join us in urging Target to change its policies to enforce a no-open-carry policy.


Dear Mr. Mulligan,

American citizens have the right to feel safe in public environments. Recently, demonstrations by individuals openly carrying large firearms, such as rifles, have taken away part of that security. The rise of such demonstrations in Target stores has unfortunately been a part of the movement to showcase open-carry freedoms.

In part, the demonstrations at Target show what we already know: gun laws are lax in many areas of the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of unintentional deaths due to firearms from 2000 to 2010 was 7,515 (an incidence rate of .23%). However, the demonstrations at Target also intimate that there is an implicit acceptance of violence in our culture.

Banning the open carrying of guns in Target stores is an important step toward making this national chain a safer environment where families can shop and employees can work. It also sends an important message: we cannot back down to intimidation.

I join others in affirming that no one should feel threatened during daily activities in this country. I urge you to immediately ban the open carry of fire arms in Target stores and to use your influence to encourage other prominent business officials to do the same. Let us promote an atmosphere of safety and peace where we can.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gobonobo via Wikipedia

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