Over the weekend, a group of open-carry supporters in Texas held an event at a Dallas Chipotle, posting photos of themselves holding some pretty impressive firepower in the burrito joint.
This didn’t sit well with gun regulation advocates at Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, who immediately launched a petition, resulting in Chipotle issuing a statement on Monday afternoon.
“The issue of gun ownership or gun rights has become one of the most contentious debates in the country. Chipotle has never taken a position on this issue, as we focus instead on our mission to change the way people think about and eat fast food,” reads the statement. “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.”
Chipotle, like many other businesses with locations around the country, had previously merely abided by local laws regarding open carry and concealed carry in determining whether or not to allow guns into particular stores.
“However, because the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers, we think it is time to make this request,” explains the statement, which does not appear to be an outright ban but a request from the company to its customers.
That makes the Chipotle statement much like the 2013 letter from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to his customers, in which he stopped short of actually banning the carrying of guns into his coffee shops, instead requested “that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas — even in states where ‘open carry’ is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”
And just like in the Starbucks case, the response on social media has been divided between upset consumers who pledge to no longer patronize Chipotle, and those who support the restaurant in its announcement.
Here is just a sampling from both sides of the argument: