The decision by Target, one of the largest U.S. retailers, to ask customers not to carry firearms to its stores marks another surprising victory for gun control groups, which have rallied for attention and impact after the 2012 Newtown, Ct., school massacre, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Moms Demand Action, a part of the Everytown for Gun Safety consortium funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has targeted major corporations with online petitions and protests. In the case of Target, 400,000 signatures were collected. Chili's, Starbucks, Chipotle, Sonic, and Jack in the Box have responded to petitions by asking customers to shop and eat unarmed.
Target is by far the biggest retailer to date to concede to the demands of Moms Demand Action. Target competitor Wal-Mart is the nation's largest firearms seller and has noted that it doesn't plan to make any policy changes on gun carrying. The petitions have come in response to demonstrations by open-carry groups where members bring loaded assault-style firearms into stores. Those tactics have sparked a rare public backlash against public gun carry and introspection among gun owners as states have, on the whole, pushed laws strengthening gun and self-defense rights. Gun rights groups say some corporate policy changes are meaningless because they don't actually ban guns, but simply request nicely that customers don't bring them.