Another major retail business has realized the obvious and banned customers from carrying weapons on store premises. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) announced on Wednesday, July 2nd, that customers are no longer allowed to bring firearms into its stores, even in areas where it’s legal to do so.

Target gun control

Statement from Target CEO

“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,” John Mulligan, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT)’s acting chief exec, explained in a statement released earlier today. “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.”

Recent controversy

Open carrying of guns in Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) stores led to controversy for the Minneapolis-based retailer over the last few months when gun activists in Texas and elsewhere chose the Target stores to make a point about their belief in the right to openly bear arms.

The laws in open carry states permit individuals to carry guns unless specifically forbidden by owners of private property. Many employers, retailers and service establishments in open carry states post signs banning guns on their premises. Laws vary significantly by state, for example, Minnesota only allows gun owners to carry guns openly if they’ve received a state permit which requires training and a waiting period.

However, other social and religious groups began to express concern about the presence of guns in Target stores, arguing it was especially inappropriate because the stores are frequented by families with small children. Earlier this year, a group of mothers staged a demonstration at Target’s annual meeting in Dallas requesting that Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) join other major retailers in banning weapons from store premises.