“It was distracting from our mission,” C.J. Grisham, the president of Open Carry Texas, told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “Our purpose and goal is to get open carry of handguns to pass into law. The conversation was allowed to shift by gun-control extremists to whether guns could be carried at all.”
In Texas, people are prohibited from bringing guns into stores to sell alcohol, which contributed to the group stopping their efforts at Target, according to the Journal.
After Open Carry Texas brought AR-15s into a Chipotle restaurant, the National Rifle Association said the group had “crossed the line.” But after the Open Carry Texas threatened to cut ties with the NRA, it issued an apology.
Grisham told the Journal that the group will continue its open carry activism with or without support from the NRA.
“If the NRA wants to work with us to get open carry passed, that’s great, but were going to fight to get open carry passed with or without the NRA,” he said. “They are not the copyright or patent holders of the Second Amendment.”
After Open Carry Texas first brought guns into Target stores, the gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America started putting pressure on the activists to keep their firearms out of the stores.
“Moms have their eye on Target because it’s a place we take our children to shop — and we’ve been disturbed by some of the demonstrations that gun extremists have held with loaded rifles inside and outside some stores. Assault rifles have no place in the baby aisle,” Erika Soto Lamb, a spokeswoman for the group, told the Wall Street Journal.