US retailing chain Target has requested that customers refrain from bringing their guns into its stores following gun rights activist demonstrations inside one of its Texan shops.

The Texan activists walked around a Target store with weapons after the public began to question the retailer's 'open carry' policy -- openly carrying a firearm in public.

However, CEO John Mulligan said that this contradicted the brands family ethos.

"Our approach has always been to follow local laws, and of course, we will continue to do so. But starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target -- even in communities where it is permitted by law," said Mulligan in a statement.

"We've listened carefully to the nuances of this debate and respect the protected rights of everyone involved.

"Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create."

Although Texan law says that civillians are free to carry their guns, it also states that companies have the right to request that they are not brought into their place of business.

Gun control activists welcomed Target's stance on the matter. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, which was one of the advocates behind the move, said that Target has hit the bull's-eye this time.

"Moms are thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000 Americans and asked customers to keep their firearms at home," Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

"Moms everywhere were horrified to see images of people carrying loaded assault rifles down the same aisles where we shop for diapers and toys.

"Target recognised that moms are a powerful customer base and political force -- and you can respect the Second Amendment and the safety of customers at the same time."