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Target 'respectfully requests' that no guns be carried in its stores

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Chances are someone in the corporate offices at Target on Wednesday was wishing the company had not decided to call its blog "A Bullseye View."

It was on that blog that Target's top executive asked customers to not bring firearms into its stores. In a blog post, Target's interim CEO John Mulligan wrote that bringing firearms into Target stores created an environment "...at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create."

The request will extend to states and cities with laws that allow open carrying of firearms.

"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," Mulligan wrote.

Almost immediately, hundreds of people began weighing in on the request in the blog's comment section, with a few of them vowing to continue to bring their guns into Target stores.

"This is just to shut up the anti gunners. Going back to Target with my gun today and tomorrow and whatever days I want," one commenter wrote. Another posted the words to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which addresses gun ownership.

The Target request also stirred up conflicting opinions expressed on Twitter.

Last month, Minneapolis-based Target suddenly found itself squarely in the center of the country’s gun rights debate. While gun owners carried their weapons into a Target store in Texas, a group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America stepped up pressure on the retail chain to clarify its weapons policy; a petition asking Target to prevent customers from carrying firearms in its stores drew nearly 400,000 signatures.

USA Today reported the mom's group issued a statement Wednesday applauding Target's decision.

"Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys," Shannon Watts, the group's founder, said in the statement.

The Business Journal reported Wednesday that a Target spokeswoman said that Target won't post signs outside of its stores.

"As this is a request and not a prohibition, we don’t have plans for any proactive communication beyond the initial ask from Target leadership today," Molly Snyder wrote in an e-mail.

Asked what Target would do if shoppers refused to comply, Snyder said the company "will continue to follow local laws."

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