The number of restaurants adopting a no-guns policy is on the rise following Mexican grill Chipotle’s recent request that patrons not carry guns when dining.
Sonic Drive-In and Chili's Grill & Bar have both issued statements recently recognizing open carry laws but asking customers to not openly carry firearms into their restaurants. Other popular restaurant chains that have discouraged patrons from bringing guns include Applebee’s, Jack In The Box and Wendy’s.
Interestingly, the National Rifle Association recently issued a statement criticizing gun advocates for bringing semi-automatic rifles into restaurants such as Chipotle and Starbucks, saying the individuals "crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness."
Restaurants' anti-gun policies fall short of banning guns altogether, a point Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz addressed last year in an open letter requesting that patrons no longer bring guns into Starbucks stores.
“[E]nforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on,” Schultz wrote in the letter.
Many retail businesses--not just restaurants--may soon feel pressure to take a position on allowing customers to openly carry guns. As Inc. previously reported, advocates of open carry laws have a website, friendorfoe.us, which encourages people to share their experiences visiting various businesses while carrying firearms. The site has rated more than 21,000 businesses to date, assigning each one with a positive, negative or neutral rating.
So, will you ask customers to refrain from openly carrying in your stores?