Target Not So Friendly Either?

In the comments, TheGunGeek writes:

Target has been anti-gun and anti-hunting for as long as I can remember. They contribute heavily to some anti-hunting organizations. If you want to support a store that is still pretty good on the gun front, I’d suggest Ace Hardware for the things they carry. Most of the Ace stores I know actually have a sporting goods and gun section.

Good to know.  I actually do most of my shopping at the local Giant.  Rarely to I venture to Target or even to Wal-Mart, except when I was looking for some cheap ammunition.  There are a lot of corporations that give money to anti-gun, anti-hunting causes.  It’s tough to boycott them all.  A key thing is awareness.  Not many people realize the Humane Society of the United States is a radical anti-hunting group.  When people hear Humane Society, they think kittens and puppies, and everyone loves kittens and puppies, right?  We have very savvy opponents.

UPDATE: I went digging to find whether these accusations could be sourced, and I’m having a hard time.  Target’s charitable partnerships are listed here.  I suppose some of those groups on there might indirectly support gun control, but I don’t see any anti-gun or anti-hunting groups on that list.  Target foundation grant recipients are listed here.  Still can’t find anything that would be controversial for us.  Here’s what they do say about community grants:


  • Individuals
  • Programs located outside Target communities
  • Educational institutions for regular instructional programs
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Treatment programs such as substance or alcohol abuse
  • Athletic teams or events
  • Fundraiser or gala events
  • Advocacy or research groups
  • Capital or building construction projects
  • Endowment campaigns

So unless someone can find an instance of them making grants to anti-gun or anti-hunting advocacy groups, I’m inclined to suggest that Target isn’t doing it.

11 Responses to “Target Not So Friendly Either?”

  1. Linoge says:

    Oh, the irony. Or something. About “Target”, that is…

    Anywise, bad humor aside, I am kind of torn about situations like these… Fact of the matter is, finding some place that supports things you support, or at least does not support things you do not support, these days is almost impossible – you would more-or-less end up shopping from a scant few places that are undoubtedly not going to have everything you need. I dunno. I guess I am just not dedicated enough to the cause.

    Of course, I have, in the past, volunteered for the Humane Society, probably will again in the future, and all of my past, and probably future, pets have come from pounds/shelters/whatever-you-call-them – invariably supported (sometimes entirely) by the Humane Society. Oh well.

  2. chris says:

    i remember when target first opened… they wouldnt sell cigarettes (still dont in fact) and they wouldnt sell even so much as kids toys taht had guns in the package… GI Joes, nerf guns etc, were all absent from their shelves… they have improved a bit, but i dont shop there every since one of their managers implied that i was involved in either dealing in stolen property or hijacking one of their trucks when i tried to return an unopened DVD without a receipt…

  3. gattsuru says:

    Early (pre-1985) Target sold some ammo and firearms, but i think they dropped that under some legal mess. Nowadays, they only sell clear plastic type airsoft and such. A Target employee I talked to said they were prohibited from carrying firearms, chemical spray, or electroshocks during working hours. They did sell cigarettes pre-1996, but now they don’t, and are unlikely to restart.

    I haven’t seen them donate to any of the really bad groups (Joyce Foundation et all). I’m sure a good number of their anti-violence donations are mildly antigun, especially those aimed at supporting women, but I don’t think it’s fair to crucify them over that.

    I avoid the store because they refused to carry ammo when competiting WalMart and KMart did without a problem, so going there instead of Wally World is just giving Wally World a great reason to drop all firearms-related sales, but I don’t think they’re exceptionally bad about supporting unconstitutional groups.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    I have to say – I’m involved in a couple of hobbies that the primary support for is in dedicated stores; but I could get supplies for that hobby at mass market outlets for cheaper (significantly cheaper if Amazon sells it). And by and large, I don’t get those supplies from teh mass market retailers. If I did, those specialty stores would ahve a harder time existing, and I would eventually be out a place to get full-on support.

    I don’t romanticize the local bookseller; but the local gaming store is more than a place to schmooze the staff, it’s a place to play games. If it goes out of business, it becomes exponentially harder for me to find opponents.

    Is the firearms industry the same way (my local store has a pistol range attached, for example).

  5. Sebastian says:

    I agree Ian. The importance of Wal-Mart isn’t so much for experienced shooters, it’s that it provides a comfortable and familiar setting for people to get into the shooting sports. Buying a gun is an intimidating process for the novice.

  6. Ahab says:

    Which is why I’m a big advocate of places like Dick’s and Gander Mountain – a store like Dick’s sells soccer, football, and gear for all the sports so it’s a lot less “GUN” and intimidating than a gun shop or the like. Gander Mountain is more targeted towards the outdoors, but you can go there to get everything from hiking boots to kayaks, not to mention firearms.

    I honestly try to take newbie shooters to places like that, where they can see a rack of shotguns right next to racquetball equipment or something.

  7. chris says:

    if dicks didnt take such an arrogant attitude toward handguns and sporter (EBR) rifles, i would shop there… plus they are usually about 15% higher than other places on ammo…

  8. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    There are many different “humane societies”. It’s practically a generic term, so you wouldn’t know if someone is talking about HSUS or not.

  9. TheGunGeek says:

    Well, I just did some looking myself and I’ll have to take back what I said earlier. IIRC, it was the old Dayton-Hudson company that gave some significant contributions to anti-hunting organizations. Things have changed since then. Personally, IMHO I think they still are anti-gun/anti-hunting, but they just can’t go making contributions to those kind of organizations without causing controversy.

    One way to get an idea of their corporate position is to look at the magazine rack. Now, granted, if they aren’t selling any hunting supplies it would imply that their customers are less likely to be hunters, but they do not sell any sports magazines that include hunting.

    I remember shopping at a book store in San Francisco with a very large magazine sections, but that had no gun/hunting magazines. They did sell fishing magazines, though. When I asked the clerk about it, he said that you can practice catch-and-release fishing, so they sold those magazines. Since hunting by its very nature meant that an animal was getting killed, they would not sell hunting magazines.

  10. Giant? The supermarket chain?

  11. Sebastian says:

    Yeah, those guys.