May 19, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) - Chipotle is asking customers not to bring guns into its stores after it says gun rights advocates recently brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants.
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."
A Chipotle spokesman didn't immediately respond when asked if it was an outright ban.
Last year, Starbucks told customers that guns were no longer welcome in its cafes after it had to close a store to avoid a demonstration by gun rights advocates. The Seattle-based coffee chain stopped short of a ban.
Customers we spoke with at the Chipotle in Charlottesville say they have never seen anyone toting a gun at the restaurant.
They say they would have mixed reactions if they did.
"If I saw it, sure, yeah, I would feel uncomfortable," said Sam Kwong.
But Chipotle diner Jonah Huang would be less concerned.
"It'd be distracting, but I don't know if it'd be uncomfortable," he said. "If it's concealed, I'd be less uncomfortable."
The controversy of packing heat at businesses is not new.
Last January, a 22-year-old man walked into a Charlottesville Kroger with a loaded semi-automatic rifle.
The move prompted several calls to 911.
The man was detained for questioning, but released because no crime was committed.
To see the full statement made by Chipotle on Monday, click this article HERE.