After a debacle earlier this month where Texas Open Carry gun activists were declined service at both a Chili's and then a Sonic while walking around with assault rifles strapped to their bodies, Sonic and Chili's have both made statements that ask their customers to leave their guns at home.
Following in the footsteps of Chipotle, who announced their gun-free policy two weeks ago, and other national brands like Starbucks, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, and Applebees, the restaurant chains have politely requested that everyone stop bringing automatic weapons into their establishments.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Patrick Lenow, Sonic Vice President of Public Relations, said:
Sonic and our franchise owners work hard to provide an inviting environment for customers and employees alike. While we historically have relied upon local laws to guide how we address the display of guns at drive-ins, recent actions required we carefully reconsider this approach. 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. With respect to the storage of guns in vehicles, we ask that our customers continue to honor local laws.
Following up that statement, a spokesperson for Brinker International, Chili's parent company, told BuzzFeed:
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. We recognize that the open carry of firearms in restaurants creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws. 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.