HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – A gun-control group has launched a petition demanding that Target ban people from openly carrying firearms in its stores.
The petition, which was launched by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, is asking the giant retailer to put rules into place that would prohibit customers from visibly carrying weapons while they shop.
According to CBS News, the group launched the petition after photos of “gun-rights groups in Texas shopping at Target with what appear to be semiautomatic rifles strapped around their shoulder.”
The Open Carry Texas group explained that the photos were taken in March and that they have changed their policy about carrying long arms into businesses, according to a statement on its Facebook page.
Open Carry Texas also said that they ask permission from a business before its members go in with firearms.
The Moms Demand Action group explained that they picked Target because it’s such a family friendly store and so many families shop there.
“It’s a place we take our children to shop,” spokeswoman Erika Soto Lamb told The Wall Street Journal. “We’ve been disturbed by some of the demonstrations that gun extremists have held with loaded rifles inside and outside some stores. Assault rifles have no place in the baby aisle.”
The gun-control organization has recently had success persuading Chipotle Mexican Grill to ban guns at its restaurants nationwide. Sonic and Brinker International are also asking customers to not bring guns into their eateries after a similar petition was launched. Last year Starbucks asked customers not bring guns into their stores also.
Target hasn’t released a statement regarding the controversy, but it does not sell guns or ammunition at any store across the country. The company also follows state and federal laws regarding open-carry policies.