Chipotle says no guns allowed inside - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Chipotle says no guns allowed inside

Amarillo, TX - The Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle is coming soon to Amarillo with a new rule.  

Chipotle says, "No guns."This comes after a "open carry" demonstration group brought guns into a Dallas location making some customers feel uncomfortable.  

So the chain decided to request that all customers, not carry their concealed firearms inside unless they are an authorized law enforcement officer.  

Construction has already started on Georgia street near the Home Depot.

The first Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle is coming to town and they have a new rule in place, no guns allowed in their facility.

"You're basically telling people in Amarillo, Texas where the majority of them are concealed carry holders or have a real strong opinion about it that we don't want you in our restaurant." says Burnie Stokes, owner of Panhandle Gunslingers. 

Within the last 2 years, nationwide and specifically in the panhandle there has been an increase in concealed handgun license carriers, students and instructors.  

So with the new chain coming to town and with a hot topic rule we spoke with people who are on both sides of the issue.

"Chipotle needs to understand that there are a lot of good Mexican food restaurants in Amarillo, Texas and there's one on nearly every corner and if they're going to come in here with an anti gun agenda then they might as well just pack it up and go back, to Denver, Colorado where you're from because really the people of Amarillo don't want you here." says Burnie Stokes.

"You can't blame them, you can't blame them. I have no problem with it, I'll go to Chipotle. (reporter ask: So it's not going to discourage you from going to Chipotle?) No, no I like Chipotle." says Karin Lee, Amarillo resident.

Chipotle released a statement saying they do not want to be used as a platform for either side of the debate.  

They just believe its fair to not put any team members or customers in an uncomfortable position.
"Each individual company has the right to choose who they serve and how they serve them and what they bring with them." says Karin Lee.

"I'm going to feel very comfortable with somebody there, next to me who has got a gun there that they can help protect me when it all comes down." says Burnie Stokes.

Amarillo's Chipotle location is expected to open later this year.  

Statement from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

The issue of gun ownership or gun rights has become one of the most contentious debates in the country. Chipotle has never taken a position on this issue, as we focus instead on our mission to change the way people think about and eat fast food. 

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.  Because of this, we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

Historically, we felt it enough to simply comply with local laws regarding the open or concealed carrying of firearms, because we believe that it is not fair to put our team members in the uncomfortable position of asking that customers refrain from bringing guns into our restaurants.  However, because the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers, we think it is time to make this request.

We acknowledge that there are strong arguments on both sides of this issue. We have seen those differing positions expressed in the wake of this event in Texas, where pro-gun customers have contacted us to applaud our support of the Second Amendment, and anti-gun customers have expressed concern over the visible display of military-style assault rifles in restaurants where families are eating. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request. And we hope that our 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. 

We always welcome the exchange of ideas and opinions: it is one of the many things that make our country such a special place. But this issue is not central to the operation of our business, and we do not feel that our restaurants should be used as a platform for either side of the debate.


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