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Thread: Target Store = OP Allowed

  1. #1
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    I recently went to Target with my wife to exchange some duplicate baby shower gifts (we shop there pretty often anyway, and I've never had a problem before).

    While we were at the customer service desk working on exchanging our items, the customer service operator asked if I would take my weapon outside, because if "frightened" her, apparently she was 10 seconds away from calling up AP (asset protection). Whatever, I take it back out to the car (didn't want to cause a scene, I was hungry and we were just taking care of this before dinner).

    When I get back in I ask her if there is a policy about it (people answer more rationally when they're not irrationally afraid of tool), and she didn't know but offered to ask a supervisor. I declined saying that I would find out through other means (contact corporate).

    I did contact corporate, and they actually responded, in a positive way. The official stance is that they "support the local laws".

    Email transcript follows (my name altered, surnames and phone #s):


    I have a question about the corporate policy on the open carry of firearms in your stores. Indiana issues a "License to carry handgun" that does not specify if the gun has to be concealed or not -- the open carry of a handgun is normally legal for a license holder.

    I am legally licensed to carry, but as my wife and I were at the customer service desk returning some double-gifts (baby shower), and I was asked by the attendant to please remove my weapon from the store because it frightened her. I complied, because I don't want to make a scene, but she was unaware of any corporate (or local) policy about handguns.

    I realize that the open carry of handguns is uncommon, but the tool (gun) I choose to equip myself with to protect my wife and family does not lend itself well to concealment in the warmer times of the year. I am asking about corporate policy in order to avoid any potential unpleasant situations in area Target stores (which we do enjoy shopping at). I understand that it is technically private property, and I am willing to abide by whatever policies may be in place, but it does help to know what those may be.



    Thank you, [squisher]
    Their initial reply (standard "thank you for contacting us", but actually from a human being!):
    Dear [squisher],

    We've taken these comments very seriously, so thanks for taking the time to ask us about corporate policy for guns in our stores.

    Your concerns have been forwarded to an area of Target that can best answer your questions. I have asked that they contact you directly.

    Thanks for writing. Your feedback helps us improve our service commitment to you.

    Sincerely, Thomas
    Target Guest Relations
    [corporate 800 number I believe]
    http://www.target.com
    [THREAD ID:1-5G99UM]
    Then I do actually hear from someone with an answer:
    [squisher]-
    It is our policy to support the laws as set in the State of Indiana.

    However, I believe it is fair to note that if a weapon is not concealed, it may illicit a response from those who see it. It sounds as though from your comments below, that our team member did have a response to seeing your weapon, and that response was fear. We appreciate the fact that you were sensitive to her concerns.

    Please contact me if you would like to discuss further.

    Amanda xxxx
    District Assets Protection Team Leader
    [xxx-xxx-xxx]

    I replied one last time, thanking them for their response, and that's all I've heard. I'd say this is open and shut, and thankfully to the right.

    That answers my question, and I appreciate your response. It is not my intention to make anyone afraid (unless that one has bad intentions toward my person), quite the contrary I would like others to feel if not exactly comfortable, at least safe.

    I appreciate that an openly carried weapon is not a common thing, and I am not surprised by anyone's reactions - be they positive or negative (and honestly, the positive outweigh the negative). My primary goal in carrying a weapon (open or otherwise) is only my (any my family's) protection, not for any political goal. My choice in weapon makes it awkward to conceal it during the summer months. Hopefully people will become accustomed to it (for I find it is the lack of exposure to something that ultimately makes someone afraid), and perhaps even be inspired by it to practice their rights on their own.

    Again, thank you very much for your response, and I will continue to enjoy the local area Target stores feeling better about knowing what the rules are.

    [squisher]

    So, Wal-Mart remains undecided/confused/undefined towards OC, while Target technically allows it. Yay! Now if only Target sold ammunition....:celebrate


    *EDIT: ARG, didn't notice I had OP instead of OC until I hit "Send"

  2. #2
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    I agree the whole thing was kind of lame, but you do catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    You can bet the next time I'm in Target (especially if I have to go to customer service) I'll be carrying a printout of that email.

    Small victories are still victories my friend. Now I have store policy to back me up.

    Edit to add:

    Also at the time I did not know one way or the other if they had a policy regarding handguns, and being at the service desk was not the time or place to push the issue. So, think of me as weak if you want to, at the same time if I can avoid certain kinds of situations I will. Trust me, if we didn't want to get that gift exchange taken care of I would have walked out and taken my money with me right then.

    Thankfully, given their official policy I won't mind spending money there in the future.

  3. #3
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    +10 good job and you got the store policy too

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I thought the crowd here might appreciate it.

  5. #5
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    What does "OP" mean in your title?

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    *EDIT: ARG, didn't notice I had OP instead of OC until I hit "Send"


    Mike wrote:
    What does "OP" mean in your title?

  7. #7
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    I like how you handled it. While I wold have contested the person asking me to leave and asked to see policy, I think you handled it well. If I'm packing, I'm not disarming for anyone. If their policy is to not allow any for of carry, I won't shop there or I will at least keep it hidden. If that target would have gotten robbed after you'd put up your sidearm, you'd have felt pretty silly and helpless.





    Frankly, I only think someone is a potential criminal when they react in such a mannor. If they think I'm up to no good, I assume they have the potential to be up to no good as well or they wouldn't have thought it in the first place. However, I guess that may be irrational. I grew up around guns, so I've never though "hey, this is a good tool for a crime" I've always seen it for what it is, a means for protecting myself from the criminal.



    Anyhow, you did great and at least you didn't make her first experience one of those"look at my constitution" deals. Potentially, they got a letter and now she's educated on it. If not, I'd take your letter from corporate to that place and make sure you give the mgr a copy. Its for their own protection, I can't see why they would want anything otherwise. Its like constant free unndercover police patrolling their store.

  8. #8
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    ImChad wrote:
    I like how you handled it. While I wold have contested the person asking me to leave and asked to see policy, I think you handled it well. If I'm packing, I'm not disarming for anyone. If their policy is to not allow any for of carry, I won't shop there or I will at least keep it hidden. If that target would have gotten robbed after you'd put up your sidearm, you'd have felt pretty silly and helpless.





    Frankly, I only think someone is a potential criminal when they react in such a mannor. If they think I'm up to no good, I assume they have the potential to be up to no good as well or they wouldn't have thought it in the first place. However, I guess that may be irrational. I grew up around guns, so I've never though "hey, this is a good tool for a crime" I've always seen it for what it is, a means for protecting myself from the criminal.



    Anyhow, you did great and at least you didn't make her first experience one of those"look at my constitution" deals. Potentially, they got a letter and now she's educated on it. If not, I'd take your letter from corporate to that place and make sure you give the mgr a copy. Its for their own protection, I can't see why they would want anything otherwise. Its like constant free unndercover police patrolling their store.
    I seriously considered walking back out to get it after we were done at the customer service desk, but Columbus is a pretty safe area (especially that part of Columbus) so I played the (arguably good) odds and it worked out. See my above comment about honey vs. vinegar and the catching of winged insects

    You can bet your assets that I'll be stuffing a printout of that returned email in my pocket the next time I visit the store :celebrate

    And if they still have issues, I'll go for written proof, on corporate letterhead, with the request for whatever re-education or disciplinary action is appropriate.

  9. #9
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    I'm not sure if my response would have been any different than yours. I live in a less enlightened state so we can't (yet) OC in public.

    I would like to think I'd have responded to her original request with something like "I understand your concern. Seeing a gun can frighten some people and it's totally normal. However, it's also an irrational fear. this gun is not going to jump out of its holster and hurt anyone, nor am I trying to intimidate anyone, and I respectfully refuse to give up my ability to protect myself and my wife based onyour irrational fear."

  10. #10
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    It's a judgement call/gut feeling on the best way to proceed in a situation like that, YMMV and all that. At the time it seemed like the best/simplest course of action. I did have a young gentleman in the parking lot ask me "Isn't it your right?" (waiting in the car for his mom or something I think), so I did get to educate at least 1 person about OC in Indiana, so not a total loss of an evening.

    I did tell her that it shouldn't frighten her, it was pretty obvious she was worried about asking me about it (apparently not worried enough to not ask though) because I had to ask her to repeat her request twice before she spoke loudly enough for me to hear her (I've got decent hearing, she was trying to whisper). It's almost like "gun" is a dirty word. Some people!

    Hopefully finances will allow me to get a BUG before too much longer (may have to wait on that 1911 I've been wanting). Maybe a .380 ankle-rig. At least I can "look" like I'm complying in that situation, and still be able to defend myself.

  11. #11
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    FWIW My wife and I have never had a problem OC'ing at targets around NW Indiana.

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    squisher wrote:

    So, Wal-Mart remains undecided/confused/undefined towards OC, while Target technically allows it. Yay! Now if only Target sold ammunition....:celebrate


    *EDIT: ARG, didn't notice I had OP instead of OC until I hit "Send"
    Actually Wal-Mart's corporate policy is to follow thelaws of whatever State that the store is located in so they have the exact same policy as Target BUT not all Wal-Mart stores follow their corporate policy.

    There have been a lot of threads on Wal-Mart and their corporate policy here on the forum so if you search forit then I am sure you will find it.

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    Sleepless wrote:
    squisher wrote:

    So, Wal-Mart remains undecided/confused/undefined towards OC, while Target technically allows it. Yay! Now if only Target sold ammunition....:celebrate


    *EDIT: ARG, didn't notice I had OP instead of OC until I hit "Send"
    Actually Wal-Mart's corporate policy is to follow thelaws of whatever State that the store is located in so they have the exact same policy as Target BUT not all Wal-Mart stores follow their corporate policy.

    There have been a lot of threads on Wal-Mart and their corporate policy here on the forum so if you search forit then I am sure you will find it.
    Yeah, that's why I list wally-world as "undecided" as the one I frequent doesn't allow it.

  14. #14
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    squisher wrote:
    Sleepless wrote:
    squisher wrote:

    So, Wal-Mart remains undecided/confused/undefined towards OC, while Target technically allows it. Yay! Now if only Target sold ammunition....:celebrate


    *EDIT: ARG, didn't notice I had OP instead of OC until I hit "Send"
    Actually Wal-Mart's corporate policy is to follow thelaws of whatever State that the store is located in so they have the exact same policy as Target BUT not all Wal-Mart stores follow their corporate policy.

    There have been a lot of threads on Wal-Mart and their corporate policy here on the forum so if you search forit then I am sure you will find it.
    Yeah, that's why I list wally-world as "undecided" as the one I frequent doesn't allow it.
    In that case I would recommend that you contact corporate and ask them to contact the manager there and have them educate him on the policy of following the corporate rules and that corporate rules supercedes their own store rules.

    Good luck and have an amazing day.

  15. #15
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    "I seriously considered walking back out to get it after we were done at the customer service desk, but **Columbus is a pretty safe area (especially that part of Columbus)**

    No flame intended at all, But Luby's inKilleen, Texas was considered a safe area. As was Va Tech....Columbine...etc....you know what I mean.

  16. #16
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    TheMrMitch wrote:
    "I seriously considered walking back out to get it after we were done at the customer service desk, but **Columbus is a pretty safe area (especially that part of Columbus)**

    No flame intended at all, But Luby's inKilleen, Texas was considered a safe area. As was Va Tech....Columbine...etc....you know what I mean.
    It's all about risk/benefit analysis. Helps that we were only going to be there for a short period as well, and following your gut.

    Obviously you never know ahead of time what will happen, but living your life in fear isn't really living now is it?

  17. #17
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    One need not live in fear to be prepared. Fear must be controlled in order to not stifle.

    When someone is killed, it's the FIRST time it ever happened to them. Every time. Do not live in fear, as some do, but be prepared so you may walk boldly.

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