Chipotle Gun Ban Has Facebook Buzzing

High-end casual dining chain Chipotle has become the latest unlikely battleground in the US on the issue of guns and open carry, after a strange fixation of bringing guns to get burritos brought the matter to the fore — and Chipotle was forced to release a definitive position.

While Chipotle is not a place one might connect directly with gun carry laws, a dispute arose after Texas gun enthusiasts began openly carrying weapons in a local outlet of the nationwide chain.

On Monday, Chipotle released a gun policy statement, explaining that while the company had in the past been content with allowing local gun laws to inform their in-store position, a more comprehensive statement became necessary.

In the statement on guns, Chipotle said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.” (Full statement, posted to the Moms Demand Action page, posted below.)

Of the Texas gun kerfuffle at Chipotle, Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham said the image in the tweet below resulted not from an intentional protest, but a simple post-event meal during which the men pictured just happened to be packing heat.

Grisham explained:

“We don’t go there just to carry guns into a restaurant… We always let the manager know we’re coming. We try very hard to make people feel comfortable.”

As expected, the issue has become a left/right, conservative/liberal bickerfest on social sites, with half of the participants pledging to eat Chipotle until the day they die, and half vowing never to set foot in a Chipotle again, even if they’re starving and there’s a long line at Panera.

Others worried about the safety of Chipotle restaurants post-ban:

Below, Chipotle’s gun policy revision statement, in full.

“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.”

“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.”

“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. 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.”

“We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue. We have seen those differing positions expressed in the wake of this event in Texas, where pro-gun customers have contacted us to applaud our support of the Second Amendment, and anti-gun customers have expressed concern over the visible display of military-style assault rifles in restaurants where families are eating. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request. And we hope that our customers who oppose the carrying of guns in public agree with us that it is the role of elected officials and the legislative process to set policy in this area, not the role of businesses like Chipotle.”

“We always welcome the exchange of ideas and opinions: it is one of the many things that make our country such a special place. But this issue is not central to the operation of our business, and we do not feel that our restaurants should be used as a platform for either side of the debate.”

Share this article: Chipotle Gun Ban Has Facebook Buzzing
More from Inquisitr