Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images
By Maya Rhodan
May 20, 2014

Chipotle is requesting that all non-law enforcement customers refrain from bringing guns into their stores amid pressure from a mothers’ group calling for complete ban on guns in stores.

“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,” a statement from Chipotle reads. “Because of this we are respectfully asking that customers not bring guns into our restaurants, unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.”

Chipotle says it typically defers to local laws on the issue because it doesn’t think it’s fair for employees to ask customers not to bring guns into stores. But backlash following a gun rally at a Dallas Chipotle this weekend led the chain to take action.

“The vast majority of gun owners are responsible citizens and we appreciate them honoring this request,” the statement continues. “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.”

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a Michael Bloomberg-backed gun control group, began circulating a petition calling for the company to prohibit guns in its stores on Monday following a gun rally at a Dallas Chipotle this weekend. According to a press release, the petition received over 10,000 signatures.

The group, which has launched similar petitions against Starbucks, Jack in the Box, and Facebook, applauded the company’s swift response. “Chipotle’s statement that firearms are not welcome in their restaurants is bold and meaningful – it shows that you can support the Second Amendment while also taking reasonable measures to ensure that Americans are safe and secure in the places we take our children,” said founder of Moms Demand Action Shannon Watts.

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