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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.

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14 Responses to What is Target’s Gun Policy?

  1. Patrick 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 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.

  2. Ben 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 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

  3. Desert Lion 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.

  4. Annoyed 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…

  5. hotshot1 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 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.

  7. Matt Miller 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 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 January 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm #

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

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

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

  11. BJ 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 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.

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