Chipotle Tells Customers: You Are Welcome Here, But Leave Your Guns At Home

chicago chipotle*Some requests seem rather odd. Some things – you’d think anyway – are obvious. For example, to request that a chef or restaurant worker  wash their hands after leaving a restroom is odd. Why would you have to request that? Why would the chef not realize that?

Now a new request is picking up steam…and its a doozy.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast-rising eatery that continues to give similar-styled restaurant Baja Fresh a real run for its money, has laid down the gauntlet and made a customer request: You are welcome here, but leave your guns at home.

Spurred on by a recent demonstration by gun advocates who brought their assault weapons into a downtown Dallas location, the Denver-based corporation has become a player on the public stage of a national debate on firearms.

“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,” Chipotle said in a statement Monday.

“Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”

Chipotle notes that in the past it has complied with local laws regarding firearms. But adds that the recent display of firepower has created an environment that is “potentially intimidating or uncomfortable” for many customers.

The Texas demonstration has also drawn the ire of gun control advocates. “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” a group backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has already started a petition asking Chipotle to ban guns in its eateries.

Gun rights activists display assault weapons at a Chipotle eatery
Gun rights activists display assault weapons at a Chipotle eatery

But Chipotle isn’t the first (and its doubtful they will be the last) corporation to get entangled in the national gun debate.

Last year, Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz asked its customers to stop bringing firearms to its stores.

In a post on Starbucks’ blog, Schultz said stores had been “thrust unwillingly” into the raging public discourse on gun rights and public safety.

Pro-gun activists staged media events at Starbucks stores that gave off the impression that the company was a supporter of “open carry” rules, he wrote.

“To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores,” Schultz said.

Police officers and said to be exempt from this request.

Thanks to Daily Magazine for information used in this article.

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