Two national restaurant chains are among the latest to ask customers to leave their firearms behind when they dine.
Sonic and Chili’s on Friday both announced policies banning guns from their dining rooms.
The announcements were prompted after recent open carry demonstrations at several Texas restaurants, including Chili’s, Sonic and Chipotle, caused controversy among customers. Chipotle announced earlier in May, following the demonstrations, that guns were not welcomed in their restaurants.
“We’ve considered the views and desires of our customers and employees that staff the drive-ins across the country. Accordingly, we’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas,” Sonic said in a statement Friday.
Chili’s announced a similar policy. “We kindly ask that guests refrain from openly carrying firearms into our restaurants,” a statement from Chili’s parent company, Brinker International, said.
According to USA Today, Open Carry Texas upset customers when its members deliberately brought assault-style weapons into several Texas restaurant chains earlier this month. The incidents prompted the companies involved to review their policies on guns.
“At Chili’s Grill & Bar, our passion is making our guests feel special in an environment where they can focus on family and friends over a great meal. Recent open carry events at our restaurants and others have prompted passionate and diverse feedback,” the company statement said.
Open Carry Texas is planning a demonstration at a Texas Home Depot Saturday, which it is billing as the “greatest open carry that Tarrant County has ever seen.”