Chipotle Bans Guns at Restaurants After ‘Open Carry’ Demonstration in Texas

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By Elizabeth S. Mitchell Comment

1311973338-chipotle-logoRemember when gun enthusiasts celebrated a heavily-armed “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to thank the coffee chain for defaulting to local gun laws (including “open carry” regulations), resulting in the company banning firearms from all of its locations to separate itself from the highly-political kerfuffle?

Well, if being barred from polishing your colt 45 while sipping on a latte at your local Starbucks disappointed you, you’ll be devastated to learn that if you were hoping to brandish an assault rifle while enjoying your next Chipotle burrito, you’ll now officially have to order it to go.

The new policy banning guns from all Chipotle locations comes after participants in an “open carry” demonstration brought guns — including assault rifles — into one of Chipotle’s Texas stores. The spectacle (for some reason) made customers rather uncomfortable, and also launched the fast food chain into the center of a hotly-debated issue — neither of which the company particularly appreciated.

Chipotle’s statement about its decision says, “We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue … 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.”

Meanwhile, those on the side of the “open carry” protesters, like Mark Walters – host of the nationally-syndicated Armed American Radio – called Chipotle’s decision a “mistake,” telling MSNBC that such a ban “emboldens criminals and removes the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.”

It seems to us that the company had actually been quite respectful of citizens’ ability to “defend themselves” where it was legal to carry a gun, and only felt the need to bar firearms when it became a choice between that, and dealing with a group of amped-up, assualt-weapon-weilding protesters disrupting diners who came to the restaurant to, you know, dine. Reasonable gun owners acting reasonably may have never been banned from the eatery had their more radical counterparts not shot themselves in the foot (no pun intended).

But it sure got the protesters noticed, and maybe that was the whole point.