By Benjamin Goad - 06/05/14 09:18 AM EDT
Target is the latest in a series of corporations facing pressure to prohibit customers from openly carrying firearms in its stores.
The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of a coalition receiving millions of dollars in funding from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, launched a petition this week calling on Target Corp. CEO John Mulligan to issue the policy edict.
Similar demonstrations have been reported in Target stores in Alabama, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin and Virginia, the group said.
“Target is a central part of the lives of American moms – we expect to be safe and secure when we wheel our kids around in the store’s red shopping carts,” said Shannon Watts, the group’s founder. “And we support the Second Amendment but people walking through the aisles flaunting their loaded weapons — as these extremist gun groups have been doing — is unacceptable.”
The group was founded following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and has launched similar campaigns targeting Chipotle, Starbucks, Jack in the Box and Facebook.
The corporate push comes as the fight for tougher federal gun restrictions stumbles in Washington.
Moms Against Action, along with the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, formed a new umbrella organization called Everytown for Gun Safety earlier this year. Bloomberg, a staunch advocate of stronger gun control, has committed $50 million to the effort.