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NAT’L – GUN CONTROL – Stores Could Just Ban Guns, but Open-Carry Foes Back Requests as a Step

David Amad, a gun rights activist and the vice president of Open Carry Texas, is not especially bothered by Walmart’s recent announcement that it is “respectfully requesting” that customers not openly carry guns into its stores. Mr. Amad said many of his group’s 38,000 members had carried their guns openly into Walmart stores since the retailer made the policy public last Tuesday. None have been asked to leave. “They are ducking the issue,” Mr. Amad said of Walmart. “They are trying to get the gun haters to leave them alone, while at the same time leave us alone when we carry in their stores.” Gun control groups applauded the retailers’ moves, which one prominent advocacy group described in a news release last week as “open-carry prohibitions,” a view that was widely shared. But none of the retailers have banned guns in their stores outright, even though legal experts say that is something they could do. “It’s a private property,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. “A retailer can refuse service to anyone so long as it is not on the basis of race, religion or another protected group. That does not apply to gun owners.” Some of the retailers said their new policies were meant to strike a balance between signaling that guns make many employees and customers feel unsafe, while not angering gun rights supporters. The new policies appear to be achieving something that have been elusive in the nation’s long-running gun debate: some form of middle ground.  [full article]

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