A gun loaded with live ammunition was left on top of a Playskool toy box in a Myrtle Beach, SC Target Store, WMBF News reported today. According to WMBF, a store employee saw the gun and realized it was not a toy. The store notified police. A shopper interviewed by the Myrtle Beach news station suspects the weapon was not left accidentally, rather it was left to attract a child and possibly create a tragic accident in the toy aisle. Police will be examining store surveillance video as part of their investigation.
The incident comes as the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action steps up their campaign to end Target’s policy of allowing the open carry of weapons in their stores. According to Moms Demand Action, Target has no policies banning customers from entering Target stores with weapons. The group has successfully lobbied other businesses, including Starbucks and Jack in the Box, to create policies that ban guns in their businesses. Moms Demand Action is asking supporters to sign a petition addressed to the Target CEO calling for an end to open carry in their stores.
Groups such as Open Carry Texas have been creating a stir by entering businesses brandishing weapons as a demonstration, they assert, of their 2nd Amendment rights. Last week, the national chains Chili’s and Sonic decided to ban weapons in their dining areas. Earlier in May, Chipotles, after a social media campaign launched by Moms Demand Action, banned guns in their restaurants.
On May 1, employees of a Fort Worth Jack in the Box thought they were being robbed when members of Texas Open Carry entered the restaurant carrying long guns. The employees locked themselves into a walk-in freezer for safety. Several days after the incident, Jack in the Box issued a statement saying the presence of guns “could create an uncomfortable situation,” and the company prefers customers do not bring guns into the restaurant.