Both Sonic and Chili’s Issue Statements Asking Open Carriers to Keep Guns Out of Their Restaurants
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The drive-in fast food restaurant Sonic as well as casual dining restaurant Chili’s have issued statements requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms in their establishments.
The move comes after the corporations were pressured by anti-gun groups following incidents in which some patrons openly carried firearms to the restaurants.
The two chains became the national corporations who were essentially forced to weigh in on the open carry debate due to anti-gun pressure.
Chiptole and Jack-in-the-Box issued similar statements over the last several weeks following similar public pressure. Starbucks issued a similar statement last year after numerous pro-gun demonstrations were held across the country at the coffee houses.
According to the The Huffington Post,
“We recognize that the open carry of firearms creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws,” Ashley Johnson, a spokeswoman for Chili’s’ parent company, Brinker International, said in an email. “So, we kindly ask that guests refrain from openly carrying firearms into our restaurants and we will continue to follow state and local laws on this issue.”
A Sonic spokesman said the company will defer to local laws with respect to storing guns in vehicles, but said it will no longer permit firearms in its dining areas.
“We’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas,” said Patrick Lenow, Sonic’s vice president of public relations.
He acknowledged that, before the company set the policy, he “spoke to a number of my peers at non-competing restaurant concepts” this week.
It should be noted that it seems none of these companies are outright banning guns. The statements seem to be targeted more to openly carried firearms specifically.