Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is thanking Sonic and Brinker International, including Chili’s Grill & Bar, today for asking customers not to bring guns to their restaurants in response to a petition launched by Moms last weekend. Moms Demand Action launched the petition after gun extremists with loaded assault weapons held demonstrations in San Antonio restaurants of both national chains last week (photos here.) The Huffington Post and Mother Jones were prompted by Moms Demand Action to call these companies to respond and both made statements to media today prohibiting the open carry of firearms in their restaurants.
A Sonic spokesperson said, “…we’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas.” A Brinker International/Chili’s Grill & Bar spokesperson said, “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.”
“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,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Brinker International and Sonic’s decisions to ask customers to not bring firearms into their restaurants are bold and meaningful, showing that you can support the Second Amendment while taking reasonable measures to ensure that Americans are safe and secure in the places we take our children. American businesses and restaurants should not wait for open carry extremists to demonstrate in their establishments – now is the time to stand up for the safety of employees and customers.”
Brinker International is the Dallas-based parent company of Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy.
Just last week Chipotle quickly responded to a Moms’ petition by asking customers to leave their guns at home, “because the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.” Earlier this month, Jack in the Box responded to the Moms’ petition by announcing that it would enforce a prohibition of guns in its stores, stating that, “the presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences.”
Moms Demand Action previously launched petitions that garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures asking Starbucks, Facebook, and Instagram to reform the companies’ gun policies to make customers and communities safer. Starbucks announced that guns are no longer welcome in its stores as a result of the campaign. Facebook and Instagram also announced changes to block illegal gun sales after 230,000 Americans signed a Moms Demand Action petition asking for stronger protections against illegal gun sales on the two social media platforms.