Amid a growing chorus of anti-Second Amendment types, two more restaurant chains, Sonic Drive-In and Chili’s Grill & Bar, have joined some half dozen others in barring customers from bringing guns onto the premises. According to USA Today, the announcements from the corporations that own the food franchises came last Friday.
Brinker International, Chili’s parent, said in a statement:
We recognize that the open carry of firearms in restaurants creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws. 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.
In its own statement, Sonic wrote:
We’ve considered the views and desires of our customers and employees that staff the drive-ins across the country. Accordingly, we’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas. With respect to the storage of guns in vehicles, we ask that our customers continue to honor local laws.
Some of the pressure brought to bear on the two companies came from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which had also lobbied Chipotle to ban the open carry of guns in their restaurants. The organization’s founder, Shannon Watts, said in her own statement Friday:
Moms thank Sonic and Brinker International, which includes Chili’s Grill & Bar, for taking action to stand up for the safety and security of our families. We are heartened that we can take our children to these family-oriented restaurants and not worry about being confronted by customers with semiautomatic rifles. [Emphasis added]
If Watts had been dining with her children at The Pit in Durham, N.C., on May 18, she might be singing another tune. The Pit was robbed at gunpoint that evening. It, too, is a gun-free restaurant. Apart from striking terror into the hearts of those who happened to be present, the bandits assaulted two employees during the crime.
Starbucks, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, and Applebees have instituted similar no-guns policies.
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