Representatives from the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant chain announced to media earlier this week that they are encouraging customers to leave their firearms at home. According to the company, the decision was made after several open carry advocates brought rifles into a downtown Dallas location over the weekend.

“Recently participants from an ‘open carry’ demonstration in Texas brought guns (including military-style assault rifles) into one of our restaurants, causing many of our customers anxiety and discomfort. Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel,” wrote Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold in a statement to CNN.

The restaurant chain’s decision was praised by gun control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization which had previously launched a social media campaign to discourage firearm carry in Chipotle stores.

“Moms are grateful to Chipotle for taking quick action today to stand up for the safety and security of our families,” said Shannon Watts, the group’s founder, in a press release. “Businesses have a duty to protect their employees and patrons—especially in states where no background checks or training are required to buy semi-automatic rifles and carry them openly in public. Chipotle’s statement that firearms are not welcome in their restaurants is bold and meaningful—it shows that you can support the Second Amendment while also taking reasonable measures to ensure that Americans are safe and secure in the places we take our children.”

Some open carry advocates said they are disappointed by the company’s new position. Many view the announcement as another sign of businesses bowing to pressure from gun control groups. Among them is Alex Clark, one of the members of the Dallas Chapter of Open Carry Texas who participated in the lunch demonstration over the weekend.

“I’m honestly a little bit disappointed, but it is their right to do that as a corporation,” Clark told CBS DFW. “I don’t think they would have done that if it would not have been for Moms Against Action, which bombard Facebook and Twitter and things like that.”

Clark said that he and other members of his group were welcomed by the Chipotle employees, who did not seem to be uncomfortable with the rifles they carried. Arnold, however, stated that the company believes firearms could create an intimidating environment.

“We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue,” Arnold wrote. “We have seen those differing positions expressed in the wake of this event in Texas, where pro-gun customers have contacted us to applaud our support of the Second Amendment, and anti-gun customers have expressed concern over the visible display of military-style assault rifles in restaurants where families are eating. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request. And we hope that our customers who oppose the carrying of guns in public agree with us that it is the role of elected officials and the legislative process to set policy in this area, not the role of businesses like Chipotle.”

It is not the first time that a company has revised policy in the wake of open carry demonstrations. Starbucks closed its doors to firearms last year after activists began carrying guns into its stores.

Image from Tales of a Wandering Youkai on the flickr Creative Commons

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10 thoughts on “Chipotle Says No to Guns in Stores after Open Carry Demonstrations

  1. Why would a gun owner be so stupid as to carry long guns into a restaurant? I’m a gun owner and frequently carry, but I would never take my AR-15 into a store unless it was to a gunsmith. This behavior hurts us all!

    1. Agreed. Morons like that do not reflect the majority of gun owners. And now, thanks to those two idiots, their image is what all the anit-gunners will see when they think of someone carrying a gun. Sheer stupidity, and why would anyone want to draw that kind of attention to themselves?

      And I’ll honor Chipotle’s request of not carrying firearms into their store by not doing business with them.

    2. I agree….seems like it’s an “in your face” type of issue. Just think of other groups who use this tactic, and none of us like it! Besides, those type weapons have no place in a family restaurant. And if I’m going to carry, I’ll conceal, thereby having the element of surprise!

      1. I agree also……. Just not to smart on the person who brought an AR-15 in the resturant. I carry every day all day but I keep my gun concealed so no one gets alarmed. It seems some people have the right to make the smart choice, but they don’t have the abaility.

  2. Well said Buddy! I’m a concealed carry advocate who carries all the time. I carry for a legitimate purpose – to protect myself, my family, and others. Given that there is no legitimate purpose for an AR-15 in a restaurant, it would be easy to mistake anyone coming through the doors carrying that type of weapon as a threat. This type of poorly-considered grandstanding is a tragedy waiting to happen – and a gift to gun control advocates.

  3. I would not be at all surprised to learn that the so called “OC advocates” were actually anti carry activists in sheep’s clothing, knowing that Chipotle would turn around with an all out ban. If you’re carrying a long gun around in public you are a troll and an idiot.

  4. I agree with Buddy. I live in Dallas and I don’t like to see this kind of news headline. This long gun group is using exactly zero common sense.

  5. Most open-carriers would prefer to carry sidearms; BUT; Texas law does not permit it !! Thus the long gun is the only firearm legal to carry without concealment. These events are designed to create public awareness in order to get the law changed.
    NOTE: HARDEE’S Corporate website states that their restaurants will be NO GUNS ALLOWED by NOVEMBER 1,2014.

  6. I have to agree with the position that carrying a long gun into a “Family Restaurant” is a harmful action to Our Cause. The Rights of We The People have taken enough hits owing to such human demon-spawn such as Adam Lanza (for one) and we do NOT need to do ourselves any more harm. Pushing an issue where it isn’t an issue only hurts us in the long run… and it creates a backlash in the short run. IMHO.
    HOWEVER… something does need to be said for Texas, a state where the police departments seem to be doing all that they can to shut down open carry, although it is the law of that land.

  7. Always has to be some idiot who just has to see how far they can push things! Legitimate gun owners and concealed carry folks are having as rough enough time (PR wise) without this type if moronic behavior.

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