Michael Bloomberg sponsored Moms Demand Action has tried to get corporations to ban guns from their stores even when the carry of guns are perfectly legal. Although they have very little to no success, Shannon Watts is continually taking credit for huge successes. Case in point, the number 5 corporation on the list Target. Watts claimed that she got Target to ban guns and took bows all over the place. Problem is despite internet rumors and Watts’ bloviating, Target did not ban guns. Other companies just laughed her off even though she claimed MDA’s protests would cost them business. Nothing could be further from the truth.
On August 18, 2014 Moms Demand Action launched a campaign to force Kroger to ban guns in its stores. Less than two weeks later Kroger responded by saying their policy would remain one of following state and local laws/ordinances on firearms. The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted a Kroger statement which said, “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue, and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.” On March 25, 2015, Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman told CBNC’s Squawk Box that Kroger rejected Moms Demand Action’s campaign because gun laws are set by lawmakers, not by grocers and other businesses around the country. Schlotman said Moms Demand Action was “opposed to the fact that our policy is to adhere to the local gun laws. If the local gun laws are to allow open carry, we’ll certainly allow customers to do that based on what the local laws are. We don’t believe it’s up to us to legislate what the local gun control laws should be. It’s up to the local legislators to decide to do that.”
Watts told Kroger’s their refusal to ban guns would hurt their bottom line. Instead, profits have risen 21% thanks to gun owners showing their support for gun rights.
Urban legend has developed surrounding Moms Demand Action’s attempts to secure a gun ban in Starbucks stores around the country. Somehow, the legend has it that Moms Demand Action secured a ban on openly carried firearms, but the truth is quite the opposite. In reality, Moms Demand Action launched a campaign against Starbucks gun-friendly policies in 2013 only to have CEO Howard Schultz respond by asking people who carry openly not to be so flamboyant about it. Schultz did request that open carriers quit holding Starbucks Appreciation Days–days in which open carriers flood into a particular Starbucks store to show their appreciation for the company’s open carry rules–but that was as far as Schultz would go.
On March 4, 2014, a Moms Demand Action chapter went to Staples headquarters to deliver a gun-ban petition to CEO Ron Sargent. The goal was to see guns banned in Staples stores throughout the country, but the Moms Demand Action chapter was marched off the property by security personnel. The FraminghamPatch.com reported that Moms Demand Action was able to give their petition to Staples security, but that was it.
When Moms Demand Action launched its gun ban campaign against Kroger on August 18, 2014, they subsequently focused on Kroger subsidiary Fred Meyer. But Fred Meyer rejected the campaign on the very day it was launched. KOIN CBS-Portland quoted a Fred Meyer Public Affairs representative saying, “The safety of our customers and associates is one of our most important values. We don’t want to have to put our associates in a position of having to confront a customer who is legally carrying a gun. That is why our longstanding policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws.”
On July 2, 2014, Breitbart News reported that Target interim CEO John Mulligan “respectfully [requested] that guests not bring firearms into Target.” The backlash was immediate.. On July 3, 2014, Target PR group manager Molly Snyder followed up by saying Mulligan’s announcement was “a request and not a prohibition.”
The Los Angeles Times points out that Chipotle took an approach to guns that was very similar to the one taken by Target. The restaurant chain first issued an announcement which seemed like a blanket gun ban in response to Moms Demand Action, then quickly clarified to say it “strongly and respectfully” asked customers “to not bring any guns into [Chipotle] restaurants,” but made clear that the request “is not a ban.”