Panera Bread, a popular bakery-cafe chain with more than 1,800 locations across the Untied States, became the latest company urging customers to abstain from bringing firearms into their stores. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America announced the development on Monday in a press release on the organization’s website, praising Panera CEO Ronald M. Shiach for the company’s decision.

“We are thrilled that after months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action, Panera is taking a proactive position in favor of our families’ safety by putting a new gun policy in place. Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families’ safety,” said Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts.

Earlier this year, retail giant Target and restaurant chain Chipotle made similar changes in policy, which company spokespeople refer to as requests rather than hard and fast rules. Shiach told CNBC that Panera will continue to abide by state and local laws regarding firearm carry, and that employees will not be putting up any signs in stores.

“We’re certainly not going to put our associates in the position of confronting someone carrying a gun,” Shiach said. “We won’t put our café management in the position of being law enforcement.”

Moms Demand Action is claiming the move as another victory in a series of petition drives that urge businesses to close their doors to firearm-carrying partons. With chains like Starbucks and Chipotle, the petitions came after demonstrations by open carry firearm advocates, which the gun control group characterized as threatening. USA Today reports that Moms Demand Action is currently running a media blitz on Kroger stores to prohibit firearm carry in its locations, but the retailer—the third-largest retail chain in the world—promptly declined to change their policies.

“Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping,” Kroger said in a statement. “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue, and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.”

Gun owners have largely criticized Moms Demand Action’s petition drives, saying that the campaign is merely a grab for attention. Some Second Amendment advocates have initiated boycotts against companies who have sided with the gun control group, but other gun owners say that they will continue to carry a firearm for protection despite requests to leave their firearms at home.

“No guns—no business. I will not allow you to make me a target,” wrote one of the many irate commentors on Panera’s Facebook page.

Image from Aude on the Wikimedia Commons

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12 thoughts on “Panera Asks Customers to Leave Guns at Home

  1. I really think the policy of the request is a result of various groups in the pro-gun crowd making a “statement” at various business
    locations by bringing in long guns just because they can.

    If I saw a group walking in with long guns I would be concerned. And before you start the flame, I have a permit to carry and carry everywhere and have done so for 15 years.

    Most businesses are not there to be making a political statement, on either side.

    The way I read this is “the organization will follow state laws”. So you can still carry in the establishment, just don’t try to put the business in the position that will put them in the middle of a hot issue.

  2. Let’s boycott Panera, Choptle, Target and Starbucks who won’t support my Constitution 2nd amendment rights to be bear arms.

  3. The CEO’s should contact the CEO’s of Luby’s and asks what happens when consumers are not armed. The simple answer is massacre. If it can happen in TX 20+ years ago, it can happen anywhere. My thought is, I would rather have a gun in my hand, than a dispatcher on the phone. I am a grandfather that hunts and shoots with my son and grandsons. I am a husband that made sure my wife was range ready to pass her CHL class. If all gun owners would boycott businesses that have anti gun policies, these attention grabbing organizations would disapear. Goodbye Panera Bread. I have other choices.

  4. I fully agree with Panera, as long as this business and other said businesses, big bucks, target, etc. can 100% guarantee me no criminals will not be carrying their firearms into their businesses as well. Amazing, it’s a shame common sense is no longer common.

  5. Open carry individuals at this point are acting as a branch of moms demand action. They serve the same cause wchich is restricting 2nd ammendment rights. The saying extremes touch proves correct in this instance. Notice, it keeps happening over and over all over businesses across the country. I don’t believe in coincidences.

  6. For those who may not be informed, Shannon Watts, “founder of Moms Demand Action, is actually a paid employee of Michael Bloomburg and is a public relations professional rather than an average housewife. She happens to live near me in a suburb of Indianapolis. Most of the protesters of “Moms” are also paid and show up at rallies and demonstration in chartered buses. Not exactly grass roots activists. They tried to stage a “big” protest at the past NRA Convention here in Indianapolis. Had less than 100 show up, verses 72,000+ for the convention. Indy police said there were NO incidents related to the convention even though a large percentage of the attendees were legally armed and allowed into the convention center. In fact, all of Indy was calmer than normal.

  7. When Panera puts a 30.06 (Texas statute for no guns allowed) sign in its window, I’ll stop going. Until then, they can served my concealed-carry dupa and they’ll never be the wiser.

  8. I am seriously pro 2nd amendment AND I CARRY. However, I don’t see a problem with these business “fake” agreement with the anti-gun bunch. The action of these businesses in NO WAY AFFECT CHL people. The required signage to prevent concealed carry people from entering these businesses fully armed is not posted. Thus, we can legally carry in all these places without concern. The businesses have just offered a meaningless “token” of agreement to appease these anti-gun nuts. It seems to have worked to get the MDA off their butts and can claim a victory. It’s their ignorance. We are still allowed in with a CHL. Of course, I would have preferred that each business provide the answer that Kroger gave – basically to “just stick it up…..”..

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