News

Moms Demand Action Celebrate Another False Win

Man with a pistol on his hip refilling a drink at a restaurant.

Another popular chain placates anti-gun group Moms Demand Action. Panera Bread, a place that says customers go in to “catch a breath,” is asking customers to keep their guns in their cars. Moms Demand Action’s founder, Shannon Watts says, “…After months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action, Panera is taking a proactive position in favor of our families’ safety by putting a new gun policy in place.” However, as with Starbucks, Moms Demand Action is falsely reporting its so-called victory. The public request from Panera Bread headquarters is just a way to get the demanding Moms off its back. Panera Bread is in fact, not changing company policy. The sandwich maker says its request is simply that—the company will still follow local and state laws in regards to carrying a firearm into its restaurants. A spokesperson for Panera said it would also not ask employees to enforce the request.

Man with a pistol on his hip refilling a drink at a restaurant.
Panera Bread is asking customers to keep their guns in their cars.

Moms Demand Action likes to publicly celebrate what they call a win for gun control when a company the group has pressured publicly asks gun owners to refrain from carrying inside its stores. Last year, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, after an enormous amount of pressure from Moms, released a statement requesting customers not carry inside its coffee shops. Mom’s official statement to the letter reads, “… Starbucks is announcing that the company will no longer allow guns on its property, both inside and outside of its stores.” When in actuality, Schultz’s letter says, “…This is a request and not an outright ban.” Where legal, it is still okay to carry inside Starbucks. Same with Target, Chili’s, Staples, Home Depot, Kroger and Chipotle—all places Moms Demand Action have claimed changed its firearms policies or pushed the company to ban firearms. However, all six places have said they will continue to follow all local and state laws, even though they request gun owners leave their guns at home. The only two restaurants caving to the Mom’s are Sonic and Jack in the Box, which have revised its firearms policies.

Do not let the Mom’s fool you—these establishments aren’t banning gun owners, or gun owner’s business. In Panera’s case, as CEO Ron Shaich pointed out, the request is a way for the restaurant to decline becoming politically involved in a debate, while still respecting gun owner’s legal rights. This is just a hunch, but I suspect most places targeted by the Moms are trying to form as neutral ground as possible, not wanting to deny business—and money—from anyone and are asking gun owners to “leave their guns in the car” just to stop the harassment from the anti-gun group.

As gun owners, we need not spend our money with companies that support gun control, but there is a big difference between saying something nice to placate a group of hoplophobes and an outright ban on guns. If you have a local, 2A-supportive coffee shop in town, by all means, get your daily cup of Joe there. However, if you have no other choice or just dying for a pumpkin spice latte, there is no law banning you from keeping strapped while ordering your Starbucks.

What do you think about restaurants and grocery stores requesting customers to refrain from carrying firearms inside, but not banning firearms? Are you still visiting these places? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

[suzanne]

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (25)

  1. Wagonmaster

    I’m sorry I guess I didn’t see the sign……………………..

    What you’re saying makes sense and I agree with not taking a chance on losing your permit. However, understanding that the government does pretty much as it wants and with all due respect for private property.. Isn’t it essentially a violation of 2A to keep a legally owned and legally carried gun from carrying in a public place. Of course little can be done about location restrictions but per the letter of 2A I should be able to carry in any public place.

    1. I’d say carrying concealed means just that. No one should know you’re carrying hence the world “concealed”. If they do not know you have it they can’t challenge you about it.

    2. Yes Drjekyl30 absolutely. If you are going into a posted building in a tee shirt and wearing a chest rig with a 10 inch 454 I guess your going to get what you get.

  2. Interesting comments. As a retired LEO (law enforcement officer) I would like to see people carry. I know how long it takes to respond to a call assuming someone has the time to contact the cops. Seems that when thugs see someone carrying they go elsewhere. I have only come across two establishments (well, three if you count my former PD) that actually have a sign at the door NO GUNS! One a shopping mall and the other a doctor’s office that performs the same procedure that led to the death of Joan Rivers.

    I have business cards made up by the RMGO (Rocky Mountain Gun Owners) that inform the no gun outfit that they lost business/customer with their decision to post their place with a sign NO GUNS! I leave and do business elsewhere!!

    Maybe I should call a Starbucks and ask them if I can get a cup of joe if I am armed. I know there is a town in Colorado named Rifle with a café that requests people to be armed. Colorado is open carry but various cities and towns have passed ordinances against open carry. (Denver for example) Its been taken to the Court of Appeals and overturned but there are plenty of Adam Henrys I’ve worked with in a suburb that will bust you for disorderly conduct because another citizen is shocked that you have a weapon!! That you might save their life is lost on them.

    It is lawful to carry concealed with a “shall issue” permit on various State college campuses plus community colleges. Faculty too!! It takes some in depth checking to find out which universities. CSU is alright.

    Does anyone have a good short label to replace “gun violence”? That seems to be a talking point for gun grabbers??? Thanks, Thor

  3. I have heard others remark that they carry concealed regardless of posted signs. After all, they reason, if the gun is properly concealed, no one will know. The problem is, if the wrong person (anti-gun owner, employee, patron, etc.) glimpses the gun or even a clear print, lots of bad things can happen. At minimum, you may be asked to leave the establishment. At worst, those objecting may fear contacting you and go immediately to security officers or the police. An anti-gun citizen may even place a “man with a gun” call to 911 and LEO will respond accordingly. Even if you avoid an embarrassing (and potentially dangerous) encounter when police arrive, you may be cited for a firearms infraction or misdemeanor, depending on the state, and (again, depending on the location and circumstances), that could lead to the loss of your permit. (You also lose the claim to being a “law abiding” citizen, since you chose to violate the law prohibiting carry in a designated place.) Bottom line: in addition to conscientiously following good CCW practices, you need to weigh the fairly low possibility that you will need to employ deadly force against the somewhat higher possibility that you may inadvertently trigger one of these pointless, legalistic incidents that have less to do with self-defense than politics. The choice is always yours. The consequences, unfortunately, often reside with someone else.

  4. Dave L

    Thanks for the info. I suspect that most of us are doing much the same and most have a drawer full of trial and error holsters. Certainly the situation and even the seasons in my part of the country dictate some of the carry options. I use to teach personal safety and situational awareness and I know that a lot more people could stand to give it more consideration especially CCW people.
    Anyway thanks again.

  5. Dave L

    Good for you. That’s how it should be. Gun grabbers just need to understand that it is like a carpenter wearing his tool belt. The difference is we are not wearing the tool we are carrying out in the open. (ill get comments about that line)
    Let me ask, what do you carry and how? inside the pants, pocket carry, ankle, vest. I’m always looking for ideas.
    I am presently carrying a Ruger SR40 C inside the pants right front. I is very comfortable very accessible and very concealed. I have also carried a 2 inch Ruger SP 101 in 357 magnum left front cross draw which works well.

    1. @Mc Ruger: without giving the details of what I own, how or when I carry to perfect strangers, or in a forum post for nefarious characters (including the gubmint) to read, I will try to answer your questions.

      I have several options for firearms and holster combinations. All my personal defensive ammo is Hornady Critical Defense. My rule is to carry the most powerful firearm I can, depending on several factors. Seasonal weather and how I am dressed, where I am going to geographically be (if several places, then geared toward the “worst”), and what type of place(s) am I going to (again, keeping in mind high value soft target locations). What works for me may not work for others, but I may pocket carry, IWB carry, strong-side hip on a belt carry, use a horizontal shoulder rig, or use my VooDoo Tactical fanny pack. I try to maintain situational awareness and be aware of my surroundings, constantly perform threat assessment, sit in restaurants facing the door, know where the nearest and alternate exits are, and practice scenarios where appropriate. By walking with my head up, shoulders back, and eyes scanning my surroundings, I am quite sure I have probably thwarted a street thug or two from eying me as a potential victim. I will use my firearm if necessary, and will certainly not rely on the good graces of some criminal to not kill me.

  6. Wagonmaster

    I certainly understand what your saying. As for me, I carry. If I come across a sign prohibiting carry in a business I will do one of 2 things. either I go in anyway or go somewhere else. I CARRY.
    The exception to this is the rare visit to public school activities. School have a blanket policy of “come in and shoot us if you want because law abiding citizens don’t carry here”.

    1. I too, carry all the time. When I say all, I mean all. Post Office, banks, schools, bars/restaurants, work (where it is prohibited by company policy), unsecured areas of airports, and any other “forbidden” areas or “gun free kill zones”. Only where I must pass through a metal detector to enter will I leave my firearm unloaded and secured in my vehicle.

      I carry concealed and am not out to do anyone harm. Therefore, unless said firearm is needed to protect my life, no one knows it is there. I will deal with the legal issues afterward, but at least I will be alive to tell the tale.

  7. Businesses may prohibit or allow firearms based on the rights of property: an owner may control visitor/customer behavior on the premises to the extent allowed by law, and most concealed/open carry states have this “owner prerogative” written into their laws. This concerns me in two ways. First, most small business and chain outlets occupy leased property (although they likely own their furnishings and equipment). Therefore, as lessees, not owners, from where does their right to deny rights to customers derive? Second, since firearms fall under 2A protections, what other Constitutional rights may property owners demand that visitors surrender upon crossing their threshold? Not sure state laws may pick and choose which Constitutional rights their citizens may unilaterally grant or deny fellow citizens. As I recall, that was one of the big issues in the civil rights movement.

  8. SMITTY 550

    Don’t get me wrong Smitty I am a big Fox fan. It is nearly all I have on the TV. However they mountains out of fairly insignificant stories from time to time and tend to forget about some pretty important things i.e. Fast and Furious. Just my opinion.

  9. THIS MAY BE OFF SUBJECT BUT I THOUGHT MY BROTHERS WOULD WANT TO SEE IT.

    Is an Oregon Gun Maker the Latest Victim of Operation Choke Point?

    President Obama’s Operation Choke Point, a dual-department mission to eliminate illegal businesses, has apparently ensnared another law-abiding gun manufacturer in its dangerous web. Critics have long pointed out that the operation is being used in sinister ways, attacking businesses the administration doesn’t like even when they haven’t done anything to run afoul of the law. Oregon-based Calico Light Weapons Systems claim their credit card company is no longer processing transactions and believes it is because of Operation Choke Point.
    In a statement to the media, Calico owner Chris Holmgren says he was warned in July that his account would be closed because of “illegal activities.” The basis for the closure, according to the credit card company, is that Holmgren was breaking federal law by selling guns online. Holmgren denies the claim. “[They] thought that I sold firearms over the Internet, which I do not,” he said. He insisted that his company sold only parts online, including “screws, washers, and other soft goods.”
    The credit card processor – Intuit Merchant Service – assured Holmgren that his account would be re-opened, but he said this hasn’t happened yet. “I am certain that this is the work of Operation Choke Point,” Holmgren said.
    – See more at: http://unfilteredpatriot.com/is-an-oregon-gun-maker-the-latest-victim-of-operation-choke-point/#sthash.NYqu0YLf.dpuf

  10. I’ve ambivalent in many of these cases. As long as these stores are not actively telling gun owners to not carry in their stores (and by carry I don’t mean walking around with an AR-15 strapped to your back begging the issue to be asked to leave), then I don’t have a problem with them issuing whatever placating press statements they need to get these harpies to leave them alone.

    If they are putting up no firearms signage (a requirement in WV for a store to legitimately restrict legal carry as the property owner), then I am choosing to take my business to another location. A number of gun owners have chosen to deliberately push the buttons of some of these wing-nut anti-second amendment groups. If they would take a moment and consider the optics of rolling into a commercial establishment dressed like a military invasion of Iraq, then they might see that some polite compromise is likely in order. Do wear a sidearm open or concealed in accordance with your state and local laws. Leave the rifle at home or in the vehicle when you’re just getting a coffee or going grocery shopping. Looking like a dangerous potential mass shooter hunting for a target zone isn’t helping the Second Amendment cause as much as you think. Just as it was bad optics for the police to roll out “all military” in Ferguson MO, its a bad optics for citizens trying to make the point they are responsible gun owners to do the same as well.

  11. As long as there is no sign on the door that says ” No Guns Allowed ” mine is going in. And just maybe, even if there is a sign, it is going in anyway !

    My right to self defense trumps their sign any day in my book.

    ( Southwest Florida )

  12. I don’t have any respect for companies that are going to give any ground to a group that lies like that… If they believe in their message, then I respect that… I’m not going to shop there… I would give more of my money to a business that stood up for it’s customers by telling MDA to get lost… All a business has to say is “We respect gun owners like we respect anyone else”… PERIOD… Cowering to pressure from anyone just fuels the fire

  13. Do we as Conservative Americans need to band together and buy a freaking TV station to ensure that someone is reporting facts and reality?
    Maybe create a 300 million person mailing list. Fox is to busy sensationalizing everything and every other “news” outlet is owned by the left. If we could eliminate the lies we would not have a problem.

    On the other hand the left has no idea how to process factual information anyway. Never mind……..

    1. I disagree with your generalization that “FOX sensationalizes everything.” The statement downplays FOX’s trying to get at the truth and by illustrating the egregious activities by our own government, both here and abroad. You may regard this as “sensationalism,” but I don’t.

      Granted, Nancy Grace goes hog-wild with recent news, but I consider Nancy Grace in the same category as Esquire or other check-out counter rags seen at the grocery store, but Grace occupies only a miniscule part of the daily FOX presentation.

  14. Moms Against Cell Phones – We must ban all cell phones and boycott any store that continues to allow the carry of cellphones on its premises. While we are aware that not all citizens will text while driving, the potential is still there and as such all cell phones must be banned for the overall wellbeing of the public at large and our families that share the road with potential texters.

    Though we are aware that some will claim cell phones can be used for good, how often do you really use it to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency? The chances are so low that we feel this ban is a reasonable price we all must be willing to pay for a safer society out on the roads.

    1. I disagree with your generalization that “FOX sensationalizes everything.” The statement disregards FOX’s trying to get at the truth by illustrating the egregious activities by our own government, both here and abroad. You may regard this as “sensationalism,” but I don’t.

      Granted, Nancy Grace goes hog-wild with recent news, but I consider Nancy Grace in the same category as Esquire or other check-out counter rags seen at the grocery store, but Grace occupies only a miniscule part of the daily FOX presentation. Have you listened to Hannity, The Kelly File, Bret Baier or Greta Van Susteren? Great news and commentary here that you won’t generally see on the other “liberal” stations.

    2. I disagree with your generalization that “FOX sensationalizes everything.” The statement disregards FOX’s trying to get at the truth by illustrating the egregious activities by our own government, both here and abroad. You may regard this as “sensationalism,” but I don’t.

      Granted, Nancy Grace goes hog-wild with recent news, but I consider Nancy Grace in the same category as Esquire or other check-out counter rags seen at the grocery store, but Grace occupies only a miniscule part of the daily FOX presentation. Have you listened to Hannity, The Kelly File, Bret Baier or Greta Van Susteren? Great news and commentary here that you won’t generally see on the other “liberal” stations.

      Oops…this was directed to McRuger (below). Would have deleted it, but can’t.

  15. The Annointed One and Liberals, et al can’t get what they want on their own so they resort to playing on the emotions of victimized and desperate mothers. The Lord long ago created a special place for those that stoop this low.

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