Raise your hand if you want to eat a burrito while seated next to someone chilling with an assault rifle. Despite a couple of guys from Texas posting Facebook photos of their gun-toting time at Chipotle, the chain's top brass is betting that few Americans are down for that sort of anxiety-ridden experience.
"Recently, participants from an 'open carry' demonstration in Texas brought guns (including military-style assault rifles) into one of our restaurants, causing many of our customers anxiety and discomfort," said Chipotle's Chris Arnold in a statement. "We are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."
Activists from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group formed after the Sandy Hook massacre, used social media to bring the firearms-inside-the-restaurant issue to the company's attention. On Sunday they tweeted several photos of two guys and their assault rifles at a Chipotle and asked people to call, tweet, or post messages like "kids won't dine with armed men" on the restaurant's Facebook page.
After the company's statement, the group tweeted "WE WON! @ChipotleTweets says #BurritosNotBullets No more guns in stores."
In what could be seen as an olive branch to firearms fans, the statement acknowledged that "the vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request." The company also said that they "hope customers who oppose the carrying of guns in public agree with us that it is the role of elected officials and the legislative process to set policy in this area, not the role of businesses like Chipotle."
Essentially, Chipotle's not making this gun ban an official rule. It just wants gun owners to recognize that given our national epidemic of mass shootings, folks are justifiably twitchy when someone rolls up with a rifle.