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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- Police are investigating how a loaded gun wound up among children's toys at a Target store in South Carolina.

According to a police report, an employee at the Myrtle Beach store reported May 30 that he was investigating a possible theft when he noticed a black handgun on top of a superhero toy box.

The employee told officers he had seen a man repeatedly walking around that section of the store, but authorities said they didn't know if that man had put the gun among the toys.

Authorities said the 9-mm handgun had not been reported stolen and had eight bullets inside. Officers said they would review security camera footage to try to determine who left the gun in the store.

The discovery comes as Target and other retailers face pressure to prohibit customers from carrying guns into their stores. On Wednesday, the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a petition asking the company to prevent customers from carrying firearms in Target stores. The petition is unrelated to the discovery of the gun in South Carolina.

A spokeswoman for Target said the safety of its employees and customers are its top priority. Store employees are working with law enforcement in Myrtle Beach to help track down the person who left the gun, spokeswoman Molly Snyder said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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