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Target Asks Customers To Leave Guns At Home After Texans Carry Rifles Into Stores

Moms Demand Action
Gun rights supporters have been carrying rifles into Target stores in North Texas and elsewhere.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Target joins the list of companies asking customers to leave guns at home; the North Texas college student on an African animal hunt faces more criticism; Dallas County gets ready to welcome 2,000 immigrant children; and more.

Add Target to the list of companies asking customers to leave the firearms at home. Interim CEO John Mulligan wrote in a post on the company’s blog that Target wants a “safe and inviting” atmosphere for shoppers and workers. The decision comes after gun rights groups carried rifles into Target stores in North Texas and across the country earlier this year. Target joins Chipotle, Chili’s and other restaurants that have taken similar steps in recent weeks. Open Carry Texas said on its Facebook page that it regrets Target’s decision and that businesses that don’t allow guns have “seen their employees and customers victimized by criminals preying on the openly defenseless.” The group says it’s “laser focused” on legalizing open-carry handguns in Texas. Texas gun rights advocates have been carrying military-style assault rifles in public places and at restaurants -- and that’s where they’ve been attracting quite a bit of negative publicity. The National Rifle Association had criticized the rifle protests, but then called the criticism a mistake. But Open Carry Texas says that for months, it’s had a policy of not taking long arms into businesses. KERA's Eric Aasen talked with an Open Carry Texas spokesman to get his reaction to Target's decision. [KERA/Associated Press]

  • The Humane Society of the United States is criticizing the North Texas college student who’s been hunting African animals and posting pictures on her Facebook page. Kendall Jones, a Texas Tech student from Cleburne, has generated controversy and international attention.On Wednesday, the Humane Society’s vice president for wildlife protection, Nicole Paquette, said in a statement: “Traveling halfway around the world to shoot some of the world’s most magnificent, and threatened animals is shameful. Many of the species that Ms. Jones has killed face declining populations due to loss of habitat and poaching. Amidst this crisis, trophy hunting only adds to the threats to the survival of these iconic species and is nothing more than a thrill kill. … Rather than pose for social media with these rare species, lying lifeless, Ms. Jones should support true conservation efforts to combat poaching.”

  • Dallas County plans to soon welcome 2,000 of the 52,000 children who’ve entered the country illegally in recent months. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was in the border town of McAllen Wednesday and toured immigration centers that are sheltering children. He said some of the Dallas County shelters will be announced as early as Thursday. The Dallas delegation, which included State Sen. Royce West, went to detention centers where mostly unaccompanied children were living. After the visit, West called what he saw deplorable. “Based on even the most fundamental standards that we have in the United States, the conditions they’re living in right now would not be acceptable to Texans,” West said. The kids are coming from Central America and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Many are trying to escape violence and drug cartels. Read more from KERA News.

  • John Wiley Price’s attorney canceled Wednesday’s scheduled meeting with federal officials due to publicity. The Dallas Morning News reports that the meeting featuring the Dallas County commissioner was canceled because attorney Billy Ravkind said he didn’t think “we can accomplish anything.” Ravkind told various media outlets that indictments are likely to come in the next several weeks. He says possible tax evasion charges against Price concern him. Price isn’t interested in a plea deal, Ravkind told The News. No criminal charges have been filed, and Ravkind denies any corruption. Three years ago this summer, federal agents searched Price’s home and office.

  • Looking for something to do over the July 4 weekend? KERA’s Therese Powell has compiled this handy roundup on Art&Seek. There’s the Lakewood Parade, Waxahachie’s Crape Myrtle Festival, Hotter ‘n Firecrackers 5K in Frisco, Dallas Wind Symphony’s Star-Spangled Spectacular. We could go on and on. Happy birthday, America! By the way, did you know that one of about just 25 copies of the Declaration is in the downtown Dallas Public Library? Read about that here.
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.