Chili’s Sonic No Guns

June 1, 2014 by  

Chili’s Sonic No Guns, Chili’s and Sonic became the latest national chains to wade into the gun debate on Friday, announcing in apparently coordinated statements that firearms are no longer welcome in their restaurants.

In separate statements to The Huffington Post, the companies said that they were asking customers not to openly carry firearms in their eateries, following a similar move by Chipotle earlier this month.

“We recognize that the open carry of firearms creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws,” Ashley Johnson, a spokeswoman for Chili’s’ parent company, Brinker International, said in an email. “So, we kindly ask that guests refrain from openly carrying firearms into our restaurants and we will continue to follow state and local laws on this issue.”

A Sonic spokesman said the company will defer to local laws with respect to storing guns in vehicles, but said it will no longer permit firearms in its dining areas.

“We’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas,” said Patrick Lenow, Sonic’s vice president of public relations.

He acknowledged that, before the company set the policy, he “spoke to a number of my peers at non-competing restaurant concepts” this week.

Johnson also suggested the statement was coordinated. “When issues like this happen, we always talk to others in the industry to get their perspective,” she said

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