Panera Announces: Don’t Bring Guns Into Our Restaurants
The bakery-cafe chain Panera announced on Monday that it is asking customers not to bring firearms into any of its 1,818 outlets in 45 states. The move was voluntary, following what Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said was “months of discussions” with the company, Detroit Free Press reports.
Panera joins Starbucks, Chipotle, Target and other restaurants and retailers in making such a request or changing the store’s policy.
[su_center_ad]Panera said in a statement that it strives to create cafes “where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome.”
“To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer,” the statement said. “Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”
Panera CEO Ron Shaich said its request “is simply we recognize everyone’s rights, but we also recognize that we are building communities in our cafes and are where people come to catch a breath.”
Shaich added that Panera was “respectfully requesting” customers to leave their firearms at home, but will continue to follow state and local firearms laws.
Some Open Carry activists have ignored requests from outlets in the recent past.
“Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families’ safety,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action said.
Moms Demand Action have launched a petition drive and ad campaign calling on Kroger stores to prohibit open carry in and around its stores.
“Our long-standing policy on this issue is to follow state and local laws and to ask customers to be respectful of others while shopping,” Kroger said in a statement last week, according to Detroit Free Press. “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue, and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.”
The problem with that is, most of us do not trust strangers walking around in family-friendly establishments with rifles strapped across their backs, simply to make a political point. [su_csky_ad]