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Panera Bread asks customers to leave guns at home

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NEW YORK — Panera Bread doesn’t want guns in its restaurants.

The sandwich-and-soup chain out of St. Louis, said it doesn’t want armed customers in its more than 1,800 stores in an effort to increase the comfort of its unarmed patrons, joining a growing list of other companies who have issued similar directives.

The news is another victory for gun safety group Moms Demand Action in its campaign to get guns out of America’s restaurants and retailers.

“We ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer,” the company said in a statement. “Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”

The company first announced the decision during a CNBC interview with Panera CEO Ron Shaich. He said during the interview that the company would not post anti-gun signs in its stores or require employees to confront gun owners.

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, said Panera approached the group three months ago in an effort to move quickly on the issue.

“In this case we saw a company come to us proactively,” she said. “We’re seeing that happening more and more.” She did not say which other companies had approached the organization.

Moms Demand Action, which got its start in 2012 following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has been actively targeting other companies, including Target, Chipotle and others, to take public stands against carrying guns in their stores. Both companies issued similar requests to Panera’s earlier this year.

The group announced last month a campaign for grocery chain Kroger to follow suit.

17 comments

  • Mo Fiscal conservatism

    We need to do what Australia did and burn them all. It works there and England. Look at the before and after numbers.

    • Manlishi

      Hey Mo, I thought didn’t we kick the oppressive brits out of here a couple hundred years ago? Regardless of which, Molon Labe’ princess.

    • vastly amused

      That is a joke, right? Because the before and after numbers show an increase in violent crime and most particularly in gun crimes.

    • stephan aust

      We eat at Panera ALL the time! NO MORE! Panera, if you cannot see the hypocrisy of your request, then you are just ignorant. Maybe this will help: If you are a criminal with a gun and you want to rob a restaurant, where would you go, the restaurant where you know there are no guns, or the restaurant where “free to carry” is the golden rule? Personally, I will no longer shop at ANY establishment that requests “leave your guns at home”. While I don’t own a gun, I don’t want to shop where the REAL CRIMINALS would feel most successful. Use your common sense brains, people! Not your PC brain.

  • Becky

    Panera Bread prefers serve their sandwiches on US Constitution and serve a side of their Politics.. Not BUYING IT! Bye.

  • CR

    Hey Mo, look at the numbers, they have the highest homicide rates in every country that has outlawed guns. Also don’t forget, the first thing a tyrant does is take all the guns away from the people so they can’t stop them from taking over, and becoming the dictators they are. Hitler, Stalin, I can go on, but I’ll stop here, and never step foot in a Panera Bread again.

  • Philip Van Cleave

    None of the stores that MDA is claiming ban guns do that. They have all put out basically the same statement (paraphrasing): we prefer you don’t carry, but it you do, it’s OK as we will not hassle you and we will still serve you with a smile.

  • Robo

    Seems like a reasonable request, there are those of us that respect the 2nd Ammendment but do not wish to be around guns.

    • Philip Van Cleave

      You must have an interesting definition of “respect,” Robo. Using your definition of respect, you could have similarly written, “I respect Latinos, but do not wish to be around them.” Truth is you DON’T respect the rights protected by the 2nd Amendment.

  • Allen Norton

    I will continue to go if I like and carry concealed. It’s really not for them to police my Constitutional right.

Comments are closed.

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