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Chipotle: ‘No guns allowed,’ says the Mexican grill restaurant chain

Chipotle has a word for gun owners: Leave your guns at home if you want to eat at our restaurants The Mexican grill has put their foot down on customers who carry, saying they are now telling armed citizens their weapons are not allowed at their restaurants.

According to reports, the clampdown came after a successful petition was elevated by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group has been active in calling on other companies to issue policy bans on firearms in their stores, and advocated for Chipotle to take action after gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into a Texas location.

In a statement Monday, the company agreed with the advocacy group, saying that "the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers."

Moms Demand Action spokesperson Erika Soto Lamb praised Chipotle’s decision, calling it a “bold move.” Chipotle, like many stores who are complying with state laws, previously allowed armed patrons to enter their establishments. Now, the chain is exercising its right as a store to set laws discouraging or banning guns.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg backs the Moms Demand Action group. The petition, entitled “Burritos, Not Bullets,” read here in its entirety, called on Chipotle to ban guns following a meeting of “Open Carry Activists” who showed up armed with SKS rifles and allowed themselves to be photographed for social media. The petition carried photos of men, some standing with children, inside Chipotle, as well as gathering outside, with their guns.

“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. The group was formed after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown , Conn.

“We support the Second Amendment but we also need to feel safe and secure in the places we take our children,” Watts said. “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.”

Forbes picks up the story:

Watts pointed to a February incident inside a Utah Chipotle, when a gun owner with a conceal carry permit dropped his handgun, causing it to discharge. The man wasn’t cited as he “legally [had] a right to carry his gun that way,” according to the Sandy Police.

Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham told Forbes that this past weekend’s activity was not a demonstration, but simply a meal following an event.

“We don’t go there just to carry guns into a restaurant,” he said. “We always let the manager know we’re coming. We try very hard to make people feel comfortable.”

Grisham said his group’s policy is to send an unarmed person into a restaurant to seek permission to dine and to warn staff and customers in advance.

“We’re peaceful, we’re looking for a place to eat, but we have guns,” he said. “If we’re not welcome, we’re not going to spend money there.”

Gun ownership is a hotly debated topic. Leave your opinions below.

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