Gun Culture

Chipotle: Don't bring guns into our restaurants

Chipotle, a chain founded in Denver by CU grad Steve Ells, is asking that customers not bring guns into its restaurants following an incident in which open-carry supporters brought assault rifles into one of its restaurants in Texas.

"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," says a statement sent to us by a Chipotle spokesperson. "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."

Here's how the Colorado-based Chipotle characterizes the Texas incident:
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.
In response, the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America started a petition -- headlined "Burritos, Not Bullets," which is also the campaign's hashtag -- calling for Chipotle to implement "a clear policy prohibiting guns in restaurants." The gun-law reform group also posted two photos of the alleged incident, including the one above.

It is legal in Texas to openly carry "long guns," though it's illegal to openly carry handguns. In Colorado, it's legal to openly carry any type of firearm, though local governments can prohibit the practice in certain municipal buildings. And Denver has rules of its own that prohibit openly carrying a firearm anywhere in the city.

Chipotle isn't the first business to request that customers leave their guns outside. Last year, Starbucks did the same. And earlier this month, Jack in the Box followed suit.

Continue for statements from Chipotle and Moms Demand Action.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar

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