"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," the company said Monday in a statement, as quoted by Dallas TV station KTVT. "Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."
The burrito chain's announcement followed a petition by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the gun control group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, asking the company to ban firearms in response to a group of gun advocates who carried rifles over the weekend into a Chipotle in the Dallas area.
Chipotle's statement did not say the company was banning firearms from its restaurants entirely and acknowledged "there are strong arguments on both sides" of the gun control issue."
"The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request," the statement read. "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.”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz similarly asked his company's customers to no longer bring firearms to the chain's stores last fall, after some pro-gun activists staged an "open-carry" demonstration to celebrate Starbucks' policy of following local gun laws.