DENVER May 20 Chipotle Mexican Grill
will no longer allow firearms in its restaurants after
gun-rights activists posed with military-style assault rifles at
one of its Texas outlets, the company said on Tuesday.
The Denver-based chain said in a statement that a recent
open-carry demonstration at a Dallas-area restaurant caused its
customers "anxiety and discomfort," and prompted the policy
"Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers
not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized
law enforcement personnel," company spokesman Chris Arnold said.
A gun-control group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in
America, launched a petition drive on social media demanding
that Chipotle halt the practice after photographs depicting the
Texas demonstration surfaced on the Internet.
"Moms want to know that when we take our families out to eat
burritos, we won't be confronted with bullets," the group's
founder, Shannon Watts, said in a statement announcing the
campaign. "We support the Second Amendment but we also need to
feel safe and secure in the places we take our children."
Moms Demand Action was formed after the 2012 massacre at
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20
schoolchildren and six adults.
Arnold said the policy shift was a direct result of the
Texas incident, and not due to pressure by any gun-control
"Historically, we felt it enough to simply comply with local
laws regarding the open or concealed carrying of firearms,
because we believe that it is not fair to put our team members
in the uncomfortable position of asking that customers refrain
from bringing guns into our restaurants," he said.
But Watts said "in states where no background checks or
training are required to buy semi-automatic rifles and carry
them openly in public, businesses have a duty to protect their
employees and patrons."
Chipotle joins other retail stores that are implementing
(Editing by Eric Walsh)