After initially brushing off attempts by a leading gun control group to ban firearms from its restaurants, burrito maker Chipotle has issued a statement asking gun owners to leave their weapons at home.
The reversal comes just days after members of an Open Carry Texas march visited a Dallas area Chipotle, many carrying AR-15 rifles and other long guns. According to Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham, an unarmed member of OCT approached the restaurant management and got their consent to have armed members dine there, a Forbes report said.
The gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense protested the open carry display after pictures of the diners cropped up on the internet and launched a petition drive to force Chipotle to ban guns in its stores. Initially, Chipotle said it would honor state laws, which allows Texans to carry openly in most eating establishments.
But Chipotle later issued a statement to Forbes saying it preferred that customers not bring guns to stores.
“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,” the Chipotle statement said. “Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”
This marks the second high-profile win for the Moms Demand Action group after the anti-gun advocates forces Starbucks to issue a similar statement. The group stumbled last month with an attempt to force Jack in the Box restaurants to keep guns out after news emerged their claims of gun owners intimidating employees were false.
“We’re peaceful, we’re looking for a place to eat, but we have guns,” Grisham told Forbes. “If we’re not welcome, we’re not going to spend money there.”