Target at center of new gun-carry controversy

After demonstrations by advocates toting long guns into stores, a reform group petitions the company to change its policies.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 4, 2014 3:00PM
Credit: © Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo
Caption: Open Carry demonstrators gather while carrying riflesBy Katie Little, CNBC

A gun reform group on Wednesday called on discount retail chain Target (TGT) to ban the open carrying of firearms in its stores. 

The petition from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America follows demonstrations by a pro-gun group bringing long guns into Target stores.

Following the petition, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder wrote in an email, "The safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. Target does not sell firearms or ammunition and is committed to following all state and federal laws. However, I don't have any specific information to share regarding this organization."

Shannon Watts, the gun reform group's founder, called the Target demonstrations "unacceptable."

"Target is a central part of the lives of American moms -- we expect to be safe and secure when we wheel our kids around in the store's red shopping carts. And we support the Second Amendment but people walking through the aisles flaunting their loaded weapons -- as these extremist gun groups have been doing -- is unacceptable," she said in a statement.

Her group has had success in changing other corporate gun policies after launching similar campaigns against Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Sonic and Brinker International (EAT).

In response, Chipotle and Sonic asked customers to refrain from bringing firearms into its restaurants while Brinker asked Chili's Bar & Grill customers not to openly carry guns.

More from CNBC

Jun 4, 2014 4:00PM
I have been a life member of the NRA for 35 yrs. and there is no doubt in my mind what-so-ever that these stupid people are playing right into the hands of the anti gun groups. You lead by logical example not stupidity and to continually keep pushing this into the faces of the general public is going to backfire horribly. What in the hell happened to common sense approach to something instead of this in your face insanity for Christ's sake. The NRA has been on the wrong side of this issue for 20 yrs. and it is going to bite them in the ****. There is middle ground here people that everyone could come to a consensus on.
Jun 4, 2014 3:43PM
I agree with the moms on this one... i support 2nd amendment rights as well but really?? bringing an AR-15 into a department store is a recipe for disaster!!!
Jun 4, 2014 4:38PM
I am a responsible gun owner and have a concealed weapons permit. These idiots are clearly not responsible and don't have the Brain Cells needed to own a gun. What F**KING Idiot would carry a assault rifle into a retail store, unless it's a gun store with a shooting range.

Jun 4, 2014 3:31PM
Some idiots always have to push things too far. If I had a retail establishment and someone came in with a gun, I would think it was with the intent of robbing me. First people got the right to carry a concealed firearm ( if their state allows it), now all these fools think its OK to walk around with assault rifles slung over their backs. It's not the Wild West anymore and our society has not disintegrated to the point of Thunderdome yet. What's going to happen is one of these "open carry" morons is going to go into a store and get killed by an armed clerk behind the counter or an off-duty police officer who thinks the guy is up to no good. If you have to carry an assault rifle to make yourself feel like a man, then you're not much of a man in the first place, and you are probably doing it because your dong isn't very long. If you are woman carrying an assault rifle, that tells me you're not getting enough in the bedroom, and are doing something else to get that "tingly" feeling.
Jun 4, 2014 3:34PM
If I saw someone toting a gun in a store, I would leave because I'd have no way of knowing if you were the good guy or the bad guy because, obviously, bad buys would have no need to conceal guns either.
Jun 4, 2014 3:56PM
Unless you are shopping at the Target in downtown Baghdad, do you really need to be armed to the teeth when you go there?
Jun 4, 2014 3:47PM
WTF, I believe the second amendment but toting guns into Target, Wal-Mart!?... What are we becoming, a society of gun toting idiots.  I don't oppose to people having carry conceal legal permists but just to have guns to parade around stores and public areas to make a point for the anti gun people to prove their right:  that a certain group of gun advocacy are a perceived threat to the rest of us.
Jun 4, 2014 3:38PM
How were these people not arrested at the very least for disturbing the peace?

I'm sorry, but the second I see someone walking around a retail store carrying a gun, especially the type of gun pictured above, I immediately assume you either have or are planning to rob the place and kill everyone. Sorry, but if I see someone openly carrying a gun in a place where there's no need to be carrying a gun and displaying it so others can see it, I immediately assume you're up to no good. You may have the right to carry a gun around the children's department, but I also have the right to call the cops and report a suspicious-looking person flaunting a loaded gun around a place where children frequent.

You may say that I'm discriminating against your Second Amendment rights, but I'd rather be overly paranoid, take precautions, and be wrong, than ignore you and your gun, not take precautions, and be right.
Jun 4, 2014 4:22PM

this is going on all over Tarrant County Texas.  I really do not get their cause, they have a right to carry a long rifle in a non threatening manner here in Texas and they have the 2nd Amendment guaranteeing then the right to keep arms.  Why in the Hell do they have to walk around scaring people when there is no point to be made?  No one is trying to take anybody's gun away so it seems to me they are just making a point to make a point, we call that pissing in the wind down here in Texas.


I have wondered at times why when some of the guys that went on shooting sprees were not stopped by someone, I mean a teenager years back walked into a crowded Mall, went up to the mezzanine level on an escalator and stood up there shooting down on people.  He was carrying a long rifle, not concealed, so why could someone not have tackled and beat the crap out of him?  BUT NO, now we have to endure idiots walking around stores that families frequent, they have been stopping traffic and approaching cars on the road (illegally) and scaring the hell out of people.  In Arlington the first day they did the traffic thing the Arlington Police got 27 calls to 911.  When are we supposed to become just so callused and complacent that when a kid walks into a mall with a rifle are we just supposed to assume everything is OK since he has a right to do it? 


I guess we decide once he starts shooting people.


Jun 4, 2014 4:49PM

I own many guns and am currently an NRA member so I am certainly not anti-gun.  However these people are crazy and in my opinion a threat to public safety.  No rational person would feel the need to openly carry a semiautomatic rifle in public areas in the USA and doing so is clearly the action of a mentally unsound person.  Only extreme paranoia and delusional thinking would lead a person to believe they needed to carry a weapon of that type with them while conducting their daily affairs.  I am extremely disappointed that the NRA has come out in support of people pushing this extreme position and I am going to give renewing my membership when it comes due next year serious thought.  Enough is enough. 

Jun 4, 2014 5:33PM
I am a lifetime CCW holder and NRA member.  Would I openly tote an AR or AK into a restaurant? No way.  That just invites trouble and inflames fear.  Do I carry fully concealed everywhere I go?  Yes, I do.  You will never see my gun in a public place unless it is necessary.  That is sensible.  Toting a loaded AR into a store or restaurant is just idiotic.
Jun 4, 2014 4:08PM
With as many unstable people in this world carrying guns and shooting people in schools, businesses and other places, I can fully understand Target's concern for the well being of their customers and employees. This is not the wild west of the 1800's when people carried guns and rifles everywhere they went to protect themselves in the absences of law enforcement in many towns outside of a sheriff and his deputy. We have the second amendment for freedom to bare arms and it was designed to protect us from criminals, attacks against us in the act of war and not to commit crimes and kill innocent people. But, people demonstrating this right by entering establishments with firearms is a bit over the edge, in my opinion.
Jun 4, 2014 4:29PM

A group of radicals who have too much time on their hands and want to show that they're big people by brandishing their big guns.

Jun 4, 2014 5:33PM

These people are exactly the kind of gun owners that people NEED to be worried about. They are extremists that are trying to pick a fight. They WANT someone to come up and argue with them so that they can 'put them in their place'. You'd never see them out 'protesting' to protect freedom of the press because they wouldn't have their guns to screw up their courage.

I got nothing against guns.

I got something against morons, tough guys, and lunatics hoping for trouble to make them feel better about themselves.

Jun 4, 2014 4:32PM
I am all for using a gun for protection. I have two handguns. BUT, I would NEVER go walking into a store or restaurant with a gun just openly showing!! I would think anyone who would do that would have the intent of robbing the place! Most if not all the gun owners I know, law abiding citizens, would NEVER do that, either.
Jun 4, 2014 3:25PM
Welcome to Israel.  Just wait till every teacher is issued an AK.
Jun 4, 2014 4:27PM
Just one question for the NRA, How can tell the difference between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun. ?
Jun 4, 2014 4:23PM
I am an advocate of the 2nd ammendment, whole heartedly, but think these type of open carry protests are a bit overly aggressive.  Scaring average customers proves nothing.  I realy wouldn't blame stores for banning open carrying, but concealed carry approval is the element of surprise that may keep the bad guys at bay.  I go in stores that deny concealed carry only out of absolute necessity.  Otherwise they can kiss my butt.  I will spend my money in a more safety minded place (with/cc). 
Jun 4, 2014 3:59PM
I'm tired of all the extremists pushing their agendas.  I don't care to see two guys kissing and I don't want to see some slob waddling around with a rifle strapped to his back.  I don't care if you keep it in your bedroom, I just don't want it out in the public.  Well, maybe at Walmart... fits right in there.
Jun 4, 2014 5:03PM

Id turn around and leave. There are limits to the second amendment and I don't want to be anywhere near Neanderthals who feels the need to carry rifles into stores or restaurants.

I don't want to live in Somalia or even Texas.

What are these people so afraid of that they need to be carrying a weapon 24-7?

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

123 rated 1
273 rated 2
482 rated 3
661 rated 4
635 rated 5
639 rated 6
619 rated 7
489 rated 8
277 rated 9
166 rated 10

Top Picks




Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.