| June 1
June 1 Two national chain restaurants have asked
that customers refrain from bringing firearms into their
establishments, saying the weapons can create an uncomfortable
atmosphere for other diners.
Sonic Drive-In and Chili's Grill & Bar both issued
statements Friday requesting that customers keep their guns out
of their restaurants even if they have an open carry permit.
The request, which stops short of an outright ban, came
after members of the gun-rights group Open Carry Texas walked
into Texas-area outlets of Sonic and Chili's carrying assault
Dallas-based Brinker International Inc, which owns
the Chili's chain, said in a statement it was dedicated to
providing "a safe environment for our guests and team members."
"We recognize that the open carry of firearms creates an
uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local
liquor laws," spokeswoman Ashley Johnson said.
Sonic, owned by Sonic Corp, also issued a statement
asking that customers "refrain from bringing guns onto our
patios or into our outdoor dining areas."
The two companies joined a growing number of national
eateries, including Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc, and Jack in the
Box Inc, that have asked diners to keep their firearms at home.
Chili's and Sonic had also come under pressure from gun
control groups to issue a no-firearm policy after video surfaced
of Open Carry Texas members descending on several San Antonio
locations while carrying weapons.
The members were asked to leave by management.
Open Carry Texas said on its Facebook page it would "cease
taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited."
Gun control groups applauded the move by Brinker
International and Sonic.
"You can support the Second Amendment while taking
reasonable measures to ensure that Americans are safe and secure
in the places we take our children," Shannon Watts, founder of
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in a
The no-gun policy follows a mass shooting incident at the
University of California, Santa Barbara on May 23 that has
renewed debate over gun control laws.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere)