Panera Bread joins group of businesses asking gun owners to leave firearms at home

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — 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.

Alabama law requires a business that wishes to ban firearms from the premises to post signs stating that. Though, the property owner or manager may ask a gun owner to disarm or leave the property at any time.

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.

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19 comments

  • Nuclear Mike

    Dear Panera…we all have a choice and so the monies from all our Families when we go out will be going elsewhere…

  • Dagny

    I love my freedom to defend myself. I also love the freedom businesses have to make their own choices. I can understand if they choose this policy. Sometimes you have to respect others opinions. Most people learn this as children. I don’t see people complaining on here because their freedom of speech is limited to where they cannot use certain offensive words. It’s insensitive to others when you are so immersed in yourself that ou can’t respect others wishes.

    • plowboysghost

      Limiting “free speech” by not using “offensive language” doesn’t render anyone helpless victims of criminals as disarming law abiding citizens does, so your analogy is flawed, Dagny. Moms Demand Action is a Michael Bloomberg created/funded anti-2A group disguised as a grass roots group….plain and simple. Their effort is incremental destruction of or Right to be armed against criminals. Murderers and robbers don’t cease their crimes when a sign tells them they can’t have a gun, and to think otherwise is laughable.

      • Dagny

        Yeah I get that but Panera has a right to conduct business how they wish. Some people find a gun on the hip of a stranger a little intimidating. Rubbing your rights in people’s faces is exactly how they begin to be limited.

      • plowboysghost

        Anyone is “intimidated” be their fellow man peaceably carrying a properly holstered firearm( a Right which they too have) is paranoid and a product of the Left’s agenda to create panic over guns. A person bent on evil doesn’t care what Panera says or what laws against murder say, so why create the very atmosphere conducive to mass shootings and murder by refusing to allow your customers the means of self defense? Panera has the right to post signs, and we have the Right to refuse to spend money where the business insists we be easier prey for criminals.

  • Sparky

    These companies need too also think about not only the customers they will lose but the contractors and service reps that will not be stepping on their property. Good luck with services that they need to stay open.

  • Wes

    They have the right to not allow guns in their business. I have the right to avoid the place like the plague. I always thought it was over priced and not that good anyway. Lets see how the hope and change works when you get robbed.

  • Bobby Ray

    We will patronize Panerra to make up for all you weak, timid folks that are feable without your pistols. By the way, if you approach me in the parking lot with your pistol, I will feel threatened by you and disarm or incapacitate you first, ask questions later… any Alabama Jury will find me not-guilty.

    Think about it. If you are sane, you won’t need to talk so much about needing your guns to feel secure. If you are secure, then you won’t need a gun to go out in public. If you are not secure, you need to move to a community or enighborhodd where you are secure.

    The people we fear are the ones who need a gun to live in this world, because only those who have such extreme insecurity in their heart act inappropriately to the fear of living without such a feable crutch (and most of them are not able to use the gun they carry well enough to defend themselves if they were being attacked). Most of you will shoot yourselves or commit manslaughter by shooting someone else because you don’t understand what’s going on around yourselves … you are acting on fear and insecurity (the voices and paranoia in your heads). Joel Moyers is in jail because he was arming himself against someone that got lost and drove down the wrong road… I have no sympathy for all you fools that put too much faith in your guns without putting common sense in your heads.

    • Bobby Ray

      I’m the most conservative Christian you could imagine. I’m also confident in my beliefs and capabilities to know that I don’t have to have a gun to get through life. If I did, I’d move to a civiliazation that is populated with more other intelligent, well educated people rather than inferior, weak people who think gun powder and lead makes them strong … everybody should be required to take an intelligence test and get a result on it of having an IQ over 160 before you are allowed anything over a bee bee gun as a weapon. The days of Cowboys and Indians is long since past. Anybody that needs a gun to survive is weak themselves or too paranoid to be safely armed without serious supervision. Anybody that feels a need to state their rights to be armed is too insecure themselves to handle the serious decision(s) associated with the responsibilities of owning a fire arm. Anybody that thinks they need an AK-47 or semi-automatic weapon is just a poor shot and needs marksmanship training. Nobody that is serious about guns should be so fragile in their self-confidence nor such a poor marksman that they need anything other than or more than a S&M 0.357. If you are buying or packing anything larger than that, then you gotta ask yourself “why?”

      I’m a Patriotic Constitutional Defender that realizes the Forefathers created this country with a whole lot less than the current bunch of crazy idiots (viz., you, Hernendez, and all the gun-rights pontificators) claims is necessary. You diminish our rights (all of them including the right to bear arms) when you advocate them in such crazy ways. It’s simple; we have our rights and must advocate them by practicing them responsibly. Joel Moyers and all the “gun-nuts” who think it is about grabbing your gun and shooting at the first sign of trouble are undermining the rights of us who can make sane decisions about the use of force.

      IF YOU ARE SAYING YOU DEMAND YOUR RIGHT TO OWN A GUN, THEN THERE IS A HIGH PROBABILITY THAT YOU LACK THE COMMON SENSE AND DECISION CAPABILITIES NECESSARY TO BE A RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNER!

    • Bobby Ray

      Real intelligent responses, Sparky and Hernandez. Why not clarify why you rant and rave about having to flaunt your guns and the right to own them?
      While you are contemplating how to answer that question, remember, that those of us who own guns responsibly and THINK carefully before ending someone’s life irresponsibly (like Joel Moyers and many others like him). Remember that responsible gun owners who know how and when to use them are silently watching out for loud-mouthed irresponsible pistol packers in hopes that we can talk you off your paranoid ledge or take aim and stop you from hurting someone that you are so prejudiced against from your bigotry and hate.
      If Jesus had been armed with a gun and had practiced your philosphies, your soul would not have the option of salvation … think about it… . Make your choices wisely.

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