Chipotle is asking customers not to bring firearms into its stores after it says gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants in Texas.
The Denver-based company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms.
But in a statement Monday, the company said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.”
The announcement came after a petition by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has called on other companies to ban firearms in their stores as well. The group said its petition was in reaction to open-carry gun activists appearing at a Dallas-area Chipotle restaurant over the weekend.
I strongly support the Second Amendment but I gotta go with the gun control nuts on this one.
First of all, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a bunch of gun control nuts. Their leader, Shannon Watts, is a dishonest demogogue. They are financed by Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City.
Chipotle is a restaurant chain serving some kind of yuppyfied Mexican food. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that they really wanted no part of this kerfluffle.
“Open Carry” is a movement of gun owners who believe that the Second Amendment gives people the right to carry firearms openly in public. Some states allow open carry of loaded firearms, others restrict it to unloaded firearms or require that firearms be concealed and that the owner obtain a permit. In California you can’t even carry a loaded gun in your trunk and they define “loaded” as having the gun in the bullets in the same location.
If you live in a place like New York City you might find the concept of people packing pistols, rifles and shotguns around in public to be bizarre and outrageous. On the other hand if you live in rural Texas it might seem perfectly normal to you. I’ve been around guns all my life so I don’t freak out at the sight of one.
I support the right of law-abiding adults to own guns. I think concealed carry permits should be issued to anyone who asks for one unless there is good cause to deny them a permit. I think many of our gun laws are too restrictive as well as unconstitutional.
But the right to keep and bear arms is not absolute. If it were, people could own machine guns, howitzers and rocket launchers. You could argue that the Open Carry movement also involves the First Amendment because they are making a political statement. But the First Amendment isn’t absolute either.
If Open Carry advocates want to conduct a peaceful, otherwise legal march or rally I support that. If they want to deliberately break the law as a protest in order to contest the constitutionality of that law, I support that too but I hope they understand and are prepared to face the possible consequences (fines, prison, legal fees, etc.) of such a protest.
But Chipotle is within their rights to ban guns from their premises. They should not be forced to allow other people to conduct political protests in their restaurants. Banning guns from their property is not unreasonable.
But even if Chipotle wanted to allow it, Open Carry advocates are being ridiculous. Having the right to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.
Guns are not toys. Gun owners have a duty of care to use, handle, and store their guns in a safe, responsible manner. Toting loaded rifles and shotguns into a restaurant just to prove you can is not safe or responsible.
Guns are tools made up of moving and stationary parts. They are specialized machines designed to propel one or more projectiles in a certain direction at a high rate of speed. The purpose of shooting guns is to punch holes in things like paper targets, soda cans, bottles, animals and other humans.
Mechanics and carpenters don’t normally carry their tools into restaurants and malls, even though there is no law against it. Where do you put a shotgun while you are sitting in a booth? Do you put your rifle in a shopping cart while you move around the store?
Gun control is a political issue. If gun owners want to hold onto the right to keep and bear arms, they need to act reasonably.
That’s my opinion. YMMV