TYLER (KYTX)-Target joins Starbucks and Chipotle as retailers that don't allow guns in stores but gun experts here in Texas say that an extra step has to be taken to not allow concealed handgun license holders to have guns in local stores.
Target Interim CEO John Mulligan announced today that Target will no longer allow guns in its stores.
He said 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.
But Target shopper Stephanie Germany says that's not the case.
"I don't really understand the point, it's kind of ridiculous. There's no reason to be afraid of someone carrying a gun, if they are carrying a gun then they probably have a concealed handgun license, you'd want them carrying it, they protect you from the people who aren't supposed to have it," Germany said.
Lock & Load Shooting Range manager Kenneth Lottman agrees that Target may lose some business but says a state permit is required to prevent concealed handguns in stores.
"Unless they have proper state regulated signs on their door that says they don't want open carry guns in states that have open carry or concealed handgun signs that say they can't conceal like we have in Texas then it's fair game. They can still carry their weapon concealed in that establishment," Lottman said.
Of the three businesses that have nationally banned guns, none have that state regulated sign on their door.
"What a lot of people don't understand is as far as I know places that have decided to not allow firearms in their store like Chipotle, Starbucks and now Target- they're saying open carry and I haven't seen any locations that have a sign that says we can't conceal carry into these locations," Lottman said.
Germany says people in Tyler know these rules.
"Most of the people I know won't be very happy," Germany said. "A lot of people might still shop there but if they don't post the one legal sign they have to post to keep you out, there's still going to be guns in the store. Anyone with a concealed handgun license knows."
The Tyler Target said that the store has not heard anything from corporate about not allowing guns inside but when the manager hears something, he'll take the proper action.
The only local business we know of with the proper notice preventing concealed handguns is the Carmike Cinema on Broadway in Tyler.