Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a national petition today calling on Chipotle CEO Steve Ells to prohibit firearms in its restaurants after a demonstration organized by a gun extremist group brought gunmen armed with semi-automatic, loaded assault weapons (photos here) into a Dallas-area store this weekend.
The petition to Chipotle, which can be found here, comes on the heels of a similar event at a Fort Worth, Texas Jack in the Box store that terrified employees so much that, according to local police, they locked themselves in the freezer. After Moms Demand Action launched a petition, Jack in the Box responded 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.” A recent example of this is when a gun owner accidentally discharged his gun while paying for his food at a Chipotle in Utah earlier this year. The potential for risk may be increased given that Chipotle sells alcohol and research from the U.S. Department of Justice found that approximately 40 percent of those convicted of homicide had been drinking at the time of their offense.
Texas law allows people to openly carry loaded rifles in public with absolutely no training, permitting, or minimum age requirement. Combined with estimates that 40 percent of gun sales occur without a background check in the U.S., this means that people can legally carry loaded rifles in Texas without ever having passed a criminal background check. There is no way for employees, customers, law enforcement or municipalities to know who these armed men are and whether they pose a threat.
“Moms want to know that when we take our families out to eat burritos, we won’t be confronted with bullets,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We support the Second Amendment but we also need to feel safe and secure in the places we take our children. In states where no background checks or training are required to buy semi-automatic rifles and carry them openly in public, businesses have a duty to protect their employees and patrons. That’s why we are calling on Chipotle and other businesses to follow Starbucks’ lead and make a clear statement that firearms are not welcome in their restaurants.”
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.