What is Target’s Gun Policy?

Information Current as of 2/5/18:

Some of you readers who are more familiar with ConcealedCarry.com may know about or have even read yourselves a list published a while back in which we discuss businesses that prohibit carrying firearms within their walls. Well, today we are going to be taking a closer look at one of the businesses whose company policy is strictly anti-gun and that is the ironically named Target Corporation.

Target Corp. is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and since its creation way back in 1902, the store has spread to over 1,800 locations worldwide. However, the company's history with firearms has, in recent years, been quite negative. At least if you are a Second Amendment supporter.

The first stand that Target decided to take against firearms took place in the early 1990's when the store ceased selling toy guns that looked “too realistic” in their minds. Only allowing super colorful toy guns like those wild and crazy Super Soaker 3000's that look like a rainbow threw up (but also have some good splash power).

Since then Target has expanded their anti-gun stance when in 2014 it was announced that Target would respectfully request all open and concealed carriers to keep their guns out of Target's properties. The move was met with debate from folks on both sides of the issue. Anti-gunners claiming it made the stores safer while Second Amendment advocates claimed the exact opposite.

Regardless of your opinion on the matter, though, it is Target's decision what to do on its own property and it seems they have made their decision about which side of the aisle they are going to stand on here. But don't take my word for it. Here is the exact quote which Target's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan gave back in 2014 regarding the store's policy.

The leadership team has been weighing a complex issue, and I want to be sure everyone understands our thoughts and ultimate decision.

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. Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.

We’ve listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved. In return, we are asking for help in fulfilling our goal to create an atmosphere that is safe and inviting for our guests and team members.

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.

I don't think a more clear statement of Target's intentions could be made than that, but before you worry too much about your Second Amendment rights being assaulted, there are a few things worth noting. 

First, just because Target has a no-gun policy doesn't mean you can't have a gun there. Different states have different requirements for what a business like Target has to do in order to prohibit guns. Do your local research. Also, make sure you remember that you have the right to decide where to spend your money and what companies you are going to support. Regardless of how enforceable Target's policy is in your local area; you may consider alternative markets to shop at in order to show your support for companies that support your right to carry.

So what do you think about Target's policy? Start a discussion in the comments below and let us know your stance and if there are other alternatives that you like to shop at so you may continue carrying inside the store.

About Craig Martin

Craig Martin grew up in the unincorporated town of Lewis, Wisconsin. From a young age, Craig was introduced to guns, as he was tasked with defending his backwood home’s wiring from a scourge of red squirrels.

Ever the animal lover, though; Craig couldn’t let these creatures die needlessly. So he would take his kills and leave them for the foxes, coyotes, and bears to eat at a deer feeder his grandfather built around their home.

His lifestyle made Craig understand that guns are a tool and ever since, has spread the word about how firearms are not a menace, like the red squirrel, but an item to help people. He instils this in every article he writes for USA Firearm Training.


  1. Patrick on February 13, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    I once had an instructor who said he doesn’t go anywhere where he is not allowed to protect himself. So he chooses to not do business or allow himself to go and support businesses like target.

    • John Luna on June 18, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      These organizations have the right to place policies however they sit fit but is it fair to all? In today’s world many establishments are subject to armed crimes and many of these businesses cannot afford proper safety to its patrons. Felons Do Not Follow any laws.

      So, for “me” and my family its not about boycotting a particular entity. It’s whether or not these businesses are assuming full responsibility should an unprecedented situation occur. As a kid I remember many stores with one or two armed guards and that’s all but unheard of in todays comerse. It was well felt when walking by a guard or police officer back then.

      Today I see shootings in department stores, shootings in public, movie theaters, concerts and even in schools!

      Therefore, I can’t avoid feeling restricted to defend myself or to the form which I grew up around.

      To conclude my point, I won’t stop going to these places but I will certainly not go as much as I use to.
      I will pay a little more at another place where I can Exercise my right.

    • Lew on September 1, 2019 at 11:00 am

      I am in complete support of Targets Policy. I am a 1960’s kid, and when I grew up we never worried about guns and getting killed at a department store. Today we have 329 million people in the US and about 1.5 guns per person. ARE WE SAFER NOW??? I think not. We do no go to theaters that allows guns. We do not go to Restaurants that allow guns. I just do not want to sit next to someone that i do not know that has a high power, semi auto weapon next to me. Our murder rate in large US cities is higher than Mexico or Baghdad. So now that we have more guns that people, are we better off? I think not.

      • Justin Crowe on September 5, 2019 at 12:13 pm

        You obviously like to hang out in gun-free zones. That’s where most of the massacres occur. You’re making a bad call.

        • Raheem on October 28, 2019 at 4:49 pm

          Great comment Justin…

        • Maurice Brandt on February 27, 2023 at 1:08 pm

          Gun free zones may as well post a sign that says, “Bad guys welcome here. Come in and shoot/kill as many folks as you like, because no one in here will stop you.”

      • Steve Walton on September 22, 2019 at 10:55 pm

        The main reason I don’t go to places where concealed guns are prohibited (Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc) is not that I am boycotting them, it’s that should a person intent on killing people come in, I want to be able to protect myself and others. I hope that you never have to be in an unarmed place of business should a crazy come in.

      • JIm on October 31, 2019 at 7:24 pm

        I grew up in the in the same time period and I feel much more comfortable in an establishment that allows concealed or open carry. The ones that don’t are trying to protect their selves from lawsuits. These businesses that don’t have armed security and don’t allow carry as well, could care less about their customers or employees!

      • Jeann Gagné on March 24, 2020 at 3:03 pm

        Comparing the US to Bagdad?? REALLY… There is a huge difference… Its embarrassing that was even said. I am CWP holder and would rather protect myself AND my family AND others than duck and hope. I shop Wal-Mart instead as they protecttge right to carry with a permit. THAT is what Target should do.

      • Westcoast patriot on January 11, 2021 at 9:29 pm

        Sounds like you are a misinfirmed sheep.
        Criminals dont follow rules or laws.
        If youre sitting next to a patriot with a gun. You should feel honored they are protecting your little sheep @ss.

      • Lawrence from Texas on February 14, 2021 at 9:08 am

        The ones you sit next to in an establishment where concealed carry is permitted is a law abiding citizen that has been background checked. Should a person with the lack of life come to create life threatening on you or your loved ones, in my opinion I would think that at least you have a person by your side that can potentially stop the threat be a welcome guest.

      • SEP on April 25, 2021 at 12:16 pm

        You think wrong. Crime statistics have plummeted in a steep downward trend for more than 50 years.

      • Daughter of God on June 4, 2022 at 7:34 pm

        Maybe take a look at the shootings and where they occurred. All Democrat ran cities and states humm how ironic this only happens when a democrat is destroying America. I grew up with a gun in every corner in our home we were taught how to use them right out of the gate. I shot my first deer at 9 years old. I open carry and I will till the day I die. Unless you think you can pry it from my hands? It’s not law-abiding gun owners that are the issue, its these sick twisted mind altered people the govt has screwed up that the govt is using MK ultra on. Are you that asleep still? I am a 100% breed; born American woman and I won’t give up my constitutional rights for you or anyone. I am neither republican nor democrat I am a constitutional conservative who believes in the rights endowed upon us by our Creator God. If you are that asleep, I strongly suggest you awaken really fast because if you think they won’t come for you, you are sadly mistaken. If you want to bend over and bow down on your knee to them it will be a mistake, you are to bow to our Savior Christ that is it. These evil luciferin cretins destroying this world their time is just about up. If you’re that afraid of law-abiding legal gun owners, I suggest you stay hidden away at home. We won’t give up our Second Amendment rights ever.

      • ATC on December 23, 2022 at 10:29 pm

        All you’re saying in this comment is that you’d rather be surrounded by good people without a way to defend yourself when some sociopath WITH a gun wants to prey on everyone in the establishment. Any man who isn’t willing to do anything he can to protect the lives of him and his family isn’t a man in my book. It’s about being defenseless.

      • Suzanne Bonham on February 1, 2023 at 3:01 pm

        You have undoubtedly been sitting next to a concealed carrier multiple times in your life without your awareness. Concealed carry is an enormous responsibility and it is taken very seriously. Let’s all place the blame back on those who deserve it — the criminals — rather than peaceful law abiding citizens.

      • jc on March 23, 2023 at 10:09 am

        You are either truly Insane or a Complete Fool! Do you think some street punk criminal gives one wit about how you FEEL about sitting next to someone with a Gun? Just because a store or Movie theatre has a gun free zone policy, do you truly believe Fellon’s Care? Just because a store may allow guns to be carried either openly or concealed you don’t want to be there? First how do you know if someone is carrying a gun concealed? Do you have Xray vision? If I see someone carrying a gun holstered, I feel much safer. Why may you ask? It’s because they are not a likely threat and would be able to defend themself and others from a street punk thug that might try something like killing someone. I would rather be judged by 12 the carried by 6!

  2. Ben on February 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    As a concealed carrier, I respect Target’s right to decide what happens on their private property. Their statement says they’ve considered the nuances and made their decision. Do I think it’s foolish? Maybe. But it’s not my decision. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else. This is a non-issue in my opinion – nothing to get your panties in a wad about.

    • Joshua Gillem on February 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Hey Ben,

      Thanks for the comment. I just wanted to ask for clarification on who you think has their panties all wadded up? All we are trying to do is inform folks what Target’s policy on guns is. Nothing more, nothing less. That way, those people who choose where to spend their money have a better understanding of why they may want to shop elsewhere, or not. Ultimately, that money-spending decision is just as much up to each individual consumer as it is up to Target to make these statements.

      Thanks again,

      Josh ~ Editor

      • Raheem on October 28, 2019 at 4:50 pm

        Even better reply Josh!

      • Suzanne Bonham on February 1, 2023 at 2:42 pm

        I appreciate the clarification. I grew up in a second-amendment respecting household. I choose not to be shopping anywhere which allows criminals with guns inside, but not law abiding citizens. I won’t support businesses who want to tear down our second amendment rights. I just attended a concealed-carry class and learned that Wal Mart has a similar policy. I learned about the recent shooting in Target just this morning, and looked up what their policy was. One of the questions I asked is how quickly the police arrived at the scene – and in the absolute best-case scenario, let’s say that the police arrived within 3 minutes, which is a staggeringly short amount of time. How many people could a criminal with an AR-15 shoot in a three minute period of time?

  3. Desert Lion on February 13, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Let’s be clear – their statement does not meet the legal standard of notice unless they post it on the doors. If they don’t have signs on the doors, then their statement of desire is interesting but irrelevant. None of the Target stores I’ve been to have signs posted on the doors that notify customers that carry is not permitted. Not desired is not the same as prohibited from a legal standpoint. One has to wonder why they have chosen to make this statement then not actually implement it in a way it could be enforced. Several states allow property owners or managers to prohibit carry on premises and back it with the force of law. In my state, carrying past a sign exposes the otherwise law-abiding citizen to a 4th degree misdemeanor, criminal trespass. Should one be caught in violation, then they can be arrested, fined, and jailed.

    So why would Target not take the simple step of posting notice at the entrance to the building? Simple – they don’t really mean it. They know the anti-gun forces have their ears tickled by the statement and shop at their stores, with free advertising by the Bloomberg Nannies. They also know the law-abiding concealed carry licensee will know the law, probably will obey the law, and know that failure to provide adequate and relevant notice means that the political statement was meant only to keep the snowflakes happy, not have any actual impact. Since it has no legal impact, my decision to shop at Target or not gets to be based on other factors – convenience, price, selection, or whatever else I choose. If I chose not to do business with anyone who disagreed with me on something, I’d have to grow or build everything myself. Nice to have that capability, even nicer to let someone else do the work.

    Maybe it’s time for the gun community to quit being as sensitive as the snowflakes we routinely deride.

    • j on September 20, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      So, you think active shooters will follow the rules? Hmm

    • Suzanne Bonham on February 1, 2023 at 2:45 pm

      I appreciate the perspective, and the information about the signage. I didn’t know that. I won’t be shopping at Target though. It doesn’t make me as sensitive as the snowflakes. I am simply under a moral obligation not to support businesses with these kinds of policies.

  4. Annoyed on March 22, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    I carry ANYWHERE I want. Your signs be damned! If I ever expose my gun, it will have been an emergency and well worth any misdemeaner penalty to protect myself…

    • Lawrence Castillo on February 14, 2021 at 9:17 am

      I’m with your thought process. I am a EDC. It’s so comfortable I hardly know I’m actually carrying. But wherever I’m at rules or no rules I’m protecting my and loved ones first and foremost.

  5. hotshot1 on April 22, 2018 at 5:29 am

    I have never seen a “Gun Free Zone” notice at a Louisiana or Southern Mississippi Waffle House !

  6. Paul Ortegon on July 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    I’m disappointed that the phrase ” open carry ” and ” canceled carry” are assumed to be included in much of the listings. Or it doesn’t specify the delineation of the two. I’m getting insurance soon and also become an E.D.C. I have instructed my wife ,If I’m ever killed by a gunman in an establishment with “no weapons allowed” policies – sue the hell out of them. I DO WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THE LIST, AS TO BRING IT TO OUR LAW ABIDING CITIZENS ATTENTION.
    And always remember, victims who shoot back – live longer.

    • Suzanne Bonham on February 1, 2023 at 2:46 pm

      I appreciate the perspective, and the information about the signage. I didn’t know that. I won’t be shopping at Target though. It doesn’t make me as sensitive as the snowflakes. I am simply under a moral obligation not to support businesses with these kinds of policies.

  7. Matt Miller on August 27, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I live in Ohio. I have not seen any no guns signs in the windows of any Target stores. Once Target places those signs in the windows I will shop elsewhere until then I will continue to carry in their stores.

  8. Jim Harmon on October 23, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    John Mulligan of Target says, “Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create.”

    Does he not understand, that by advertising their stores are “gun-free” it makes the stores less safe? Why? Because those who wish to do harm to the business or its customers won’t follow the “gun-free” rules. They are likely to bring a gun despite the rules because they know they won’t likely be challenged by someone with a gun.

    It seems gun-free advocates refuse to believe that all or most high crime areas in the country are in gun-free zones.

  9. Robert Shrum on January 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    My family does not shop at Target because of their gun policy

  10. Bob on February 1, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Remember, this is the same chain that allows Men in the Ladies Restroom. Enough said..

  11. BJ on June 30, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I went to a Target in Kentucky today and carried my firearm concealed as I always do. No Signs which in Kentucky have no force of law anyway. I was wearing my NRA T Shirt that says “Keep Calm and Carry Guns” and was not given a second look or comment. I actually had an issue with a transaction and dealt with the manager and no one asked if I was carrying, etc.

    If they asked me to leave – I would but would not shop anyplace. I think the local supervision and management of these big companies live in the areas of the stores and understand in red states people who are told to leave for guns will kill your business by going elsewhere. That’s why there are no signs or enforcement of the desires of the home office.

    I think this is an issue of a Corporation in Liberal Minnesota that deals with a snowflake media so they make a vague statement on the desire that I don’t bring my firearms in. I’m sure one of the lawyers wrote that policy knowing that it would make liberal anti-gunners happy but informed CCDW permit holders know the law and will carry anyway.

  12. MS on August 12, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Just over a week since the El Paso Walmart shooting. I shopped at a Target store in Minnesota today (in the Twin Cities metro), was carrying concealed as usual. Still no signs posted, and no issues at all.

  13. Alex on September 7, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Any establishment which has a “No Gun” policy, even concealed, and at the same time does not post armed security personnel and/or have on site armed security, is inviting the ill willed person and disaster. No guns along with no armed security is an unsafe policy and endangers customers. I therefore feel unsafe in your stores.

  14. SG on September 7, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I have an old friend who posted on social media that she has a concealed carry permit. She wrote that if she were in line in a store and if someone were come in armed to rob the store, that she has the right to use her weapon. She stated she is ready to die to protect her freedoms. My first thought was “Dear God, the last place I would want to be is in line with my grandchildren with her.” She has her right to die, but she certainly doesn’t have the right to make that decision for my family or myself. I don’t care what a good shot she thinks she is. Just her mere motion in front of someone who already has a weapon drawn could easily send bullets our way. Our government deems her responsible to carry a weapon. The thought that people like this could be inches away from me should I ever be that position terrifies me. They have no respect for my rights or my life.

    • Daughter of God on June 4, 2022 at 7:39 pm

      so, what you think the gunman coming into kill or rob won’t kill you and your family?? that is the most uneducated statement I have ever read. Wake up to reality lady.

  15. Joseph Jarrett on January 30, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    My target doesn’t have any signs listed. I guess we are allowed to carry here.

  16. John on June 17, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I shop at Target pretty regularly. I don’t really care for a lot of their stands on social issues, and the store personnel can give you some good people watching experiences at times, but they also carry some good stuff. The thing that I find dubious about their stand on guns is that they support LGBTQ rights, but apparently forget that the cries of people in that community about discrimination and violence logically point towards a perceived need to protect themselves. Ditto for anyone else of any ethnicity, religion, etc, that want to be able to protect themselves from hate crimes. I really think that minorities, etc, need to wake up and realize that they don’t need to include gun control as part of a platform for any movement they’re involved in, as it only makes them more vulnerable. In essence, Target’s policy is harming people seen as vulnerable in the community.

    • Suzanne Bonham on February 1, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Yes. The man leading the organization Black Guns Matter is very eloquent about that very point.

  17. Fishman57 on November 9, 2020 at 5:37 am

    No where in Target’s statement does it say that weapons are banned or prohibited.

  18. Nigel Crawford on June 25, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    This is the only good thing I can say about someone as corrupt as the Clintons is when they coined the phrase, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” I know what they applied it to, but didn’t place restrictions on applying the same principal elsewhere. Therefore, apply his coined phrase to concealed carrying and the Target’s will go from “gun free zone” to “target free zone.” 😉

  19. John Morgan on February 7, 2022 at 3:06 am

    We are free to choose. If offended by Target’s attitude , avoid the store. If you wish to support the local concealed carry law, do so. We can sometimes be tolerant of intolerance.

  20. Daughter of God on June 4, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    gun free zones more people are killed. its proven over, over, over and over.

  21. Daughter of God on June 4, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    Target thinks its ok for grown men to go into women’s restrooms with little girls in there, that should tell you where their mind set is right there.

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