Chipotle Caves

They pulled a Starbucks:

Chipotle is asking customers not to bring guns into its stores after it says gun rights advocates recently brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants.

They’re not saying it’s a ban, which probably means it’s not. Either way, these are terrible cultural losses for us. How many of these are we going to have to endure before the rifle OCers start to understand they aren’t accomplishing anything except helping drive Shannon Watts’s fundraising, and helping her continue to build her organization?

UPDATE: Their release is here. Much more strongly worded than either Starbucks or Jack-in-the-Box. Personally I decided to stop going to Chipotle when they started putting anti-ag messages on their drink cups. I don’t need people preaching religious claptrap to me when I just want a burrito. That and the qualify of their food and service at our local location has headed downhill recently. I intend to comply with their request and take my business elsewhere. I strongly encourage other gun owners to do so as well.

69 thoughts on “Chipotle Caves”

  1. My awesome powers of prediction tell me that this will not be the last national chain that OC activist clowns target, and it won’t be the last national chain that changes their gun policy as a result.

    Those same awesome powers of prediction tell me that these clowns won’t learn a damned thing from this, just like they haven’t learned from the numerous other times the same exact thing happened. Rinse, repeat.

      1. You may not consider it a great loss, but I’m certain Shannon Watts considers it a great victory. Her media lapdogs get to crow about the achievement and paint gun owners in a way that make them look loony to those in the middle, it helps her membership rolls and donations, and motivates her base. You and I know her actual grassroots support is laughable, but this shit makes MDA/Everytown/whatever look relevant and effective. The perception of these groups is important.

        And it motivates her to continue with this campaign. The businesses are starting to pile up. Without these victories she would have nothing to tweet about but manipulated statistics and anecdotes about “gun crime”.

      2. The change in corporate policy is, frankly, irrelevant — especially to those of us (like me) who already don’t frequent this place (just as I ventured into a Starbucks maybe once a year before they became an OC battleground).

        What matters is the propaganda victory for Mommies Getting Paid for Action by Bloomberg.

        There is no way to paint this as a “win” for the Second Amendment – but it is very easy to paint this as a “win” for anti-rights bigots, especially with a collaborative and ill-informed press.

        Just like teh Slidefire billboard situation — it doesn’t matter that Shannon Watts didn’t have a darned thing to do with the billboard coming down — she is still perceived as having “forced” it down, because the fact checking and clarifications that it came down at the end of it’s contracted run were memory-holed.

  2. Makes one wonder whether this isn’t some sort of intended tactic by some sort of “false flag” operation. It’s dishonest, but honesty isn’t the anti-rights cultists’ strong suit, anyway.

    Given that their legislative agenda has been almost a total failure, it’s a tactic that seems to have some borne some fruit. Add a friendly administration and AG who is attempting to bully banks and corporations into refusing to do business with firearms companies, and there is a concerted attack where it matters – at the cultural level.

    On the other hand, this would require a level of savvy that the antis have repeatedly demonstrated they simply do not have. And there are those who are ostensibly on our side that insist that anything other than 100% purity and unfettered rights is absolutely unacceptable. For those folks, I remind them of the old shibboleth: the perfect is the enemy of the good.

    1. It has gotten to where you literally just need a couple guys to sling rifles and be able to sink a franchise’s policy.

      Then have someone else call in “man with a gun”. No fraud needed at all. I mean it’s not like they have to say they’re 2nd amend activists.

      Note this is NOT saying there *is* a false flag or has been.

      I am simply saying the scale has gotten small enough where it *could* be done with literally a couple of people.

    2. “Makes one wonder whether this isn’t some sort of intended tactic by some sort of “false flag” operation.”

      Sure, the antis could do something like that if they really wanted. But if they got busted, it would hurt them. But more importantly, they don’t need to. There is a never ending supply of idiots willing to do this sort of thing in the name of the 2nd Amendment. Heck, check out any gun blog sometime and look at all the people supporting this type of behavior. Soon enough folks will probably start chiming in on this post saying that if you don’t support rifle OCing that makes national chains change their gun policy for the worse, you are anti-gun or whatever.

      1. It would be a brilliant strategy. But I think most of their people would crap themselves before they managed to even get the AR slung.

        1. Most, yes. But it only takes a couple (or one if necessary).

          And there are those among the antis that are perfectly fine with themselves owning guns, they just don’t like the commoners.

          That said, any OC rifle shenanigans would be far, far more likely to be own-goals from our side.

          False flag is a possibility, but better to assume horse instead of zebra.

  3. I heard next weekend they’re planning an OC rally at Panera Bread. Afterwards they’ll do some shopping at the Apple store before their demonstration at a local little league game. Should go swimmingly.

    I’m sure Watts is watching their Facebook and Twitter just waiting for the next target.

  4. Two things I’ve noticed.

    The rifle OC and the “let’s draw the franchise in” groups do seem to be getting smaller. I know for Jack in the Box it was just one “incident” and it was not much more for Chipotle

    There was not nearly the amount or scale of the Starbucks groups.

    However, Chipotle and Jack in the Box did fold over much faster.

    1. They are learning that it makes Shannon Watts go away, and usually serves to end the OC nonsense without mainstream gun owners getting all up in a fuss. There’s no downside from their point of view. The downside is for us, because if this wasn’t helping Watts and her organization, she wouldn’t be so keen on continually running the same play. I’ve noticed on their FB their OC related posts get a lot more attention and interaction. I plan to actually compile some numbers if I have time to numerically show that.

      That means the rifle OC issue is something that motivates our opponents to action, and makes them get off their asses and actually do something. This is BAD. We want to avoid tactics that motivate the opposition even if that motivation only goes as far as mailing a check.

      1. I’d agree with that assessment, and some numbers would be interesting.

        As policy on our side we’re over a barrel as we’re approaching (if we had not already) where a single incident will flip a chain.

        That’s something very hard to deal with. Since even if the vast majority have learned from Starbucks or this, it only takes two or one, to give the antis their next win.

        1. Open carry bans are no problem at all; that’s a dress code issue; totally fair.

          The fact that these slimy nancified corporations keep recoiling immediately to “NO GUNS” (even if they don’t post) is something of a problem.

          The answer, as I said in response to an earlier post, is simple. Start agitating in the pro-gun states to start passing safety statutes saying that a business that bans (all) legal citizen carry thereby assumes a heightened duty of care to protect each patron from physical violence on its property. Allow carry, and you have no such duty.

          Just a couple of states going that way would chill this tactic quite effectively.

          There was lots of squealing when I brought up this response before. I think that’s foolish. Let’s do what we need to, to win.

          I guess you would still rather have a situation where — by Sebastian’s own acknowledgment — any time 1-2 idiots have a momentary lapse in tactics (and any mass movement will have a small number of idiots), our opponents get another free cultural victory.

          Time to get on board with this, stop hand-wringing about our side and start getting ready to hit back.

          1. Sorry, re second to last paragraph, it was “The Jack” not Sebastian who made that observation.

          2. So let me get this straight. You’re saying that the answer to private property owners trying to protect their business interests against damage caused by gun-toting morons is to require gun liability insurance? If they don’t allow guns. Or something.

            Do you get the irony that the anti-gun crowd routinely proposes gun liability insurance as a requirement for gun owners? Do you really want to go down that road and set that precedent?

            Perhaps the better alternative to private property owners making business decisions that gun-toting morons force them to make, is to exert pressure on those gun-toting morons. Instead of cheering them on like so many on our side do, we should make them into the outcasts they are.

            As an aside, please get out of the habit of screaming “There should be a law!” when you see something you don’t like. It’s not helpful, and of course politicians love it. That should be an indication right there that you need to rethink your game plan.

            1. Nope — re-read the first sentence of my post. We want to strongly incentivize businesses pestered by long gun OC activists to respond with policies that say “We’d prefer you not OPENLY carry in our store; beyond that, we don’t care either way.” That’s very different from what’s happening.

              Note, too, that since you can’t carry a long gun concealed, banning OPEN carry in your chain means no long gun carry. But still lets people who make culturally appropriate choices of defensive armament (handguns) have a way to carry them with the blessing, or at least a shrug of indifference, from management.

              If this is going to continue to be a thing, we need to give businesses clear counter-incentives not to cave a la Chipotle. As you guys admitted above, right now what counter-incentive is there? I just gave you a way to create one.

              Isn’t that more realistic than whining and hoping there will never be occasional dumb pro-gun activism in the future? Guess what, there will be. Mass movement; law of large numbers.

              It’s this, or really ramp up the counter-protesting, have NRA widely publicize black lists of businesses, etc. My idea is simpler.

              PS: government already pervasively regulates safety conditions and who can be served at public accommodations. That ship’s sailed.

              1. Prediction: if the Bloomberg minions keep it up, we will see at least one state adopt a law of this kind within the next 2 years.

              2. “If this is going to continue to be a thing, we need to give businesses clear counter-incentives not to cave a la Chipotle.”

                Chipotle made the correct business decision. Look at the Starbucks fiasco (chances are Chipotle did). When Starbucks didn’t “cave” as you call it, OCing idiots spent over a year trying to make them regret it. A nonstop stream of thousands of OC selfies were posted to Starbucks’ Facebook page. Then there was this campaign:

                Like Starbucks, Chipotle doesn’t want to be dragged into a contentions political debate – especially about guns. They want to sell fast food. So Chipotle wisely put the kibash on it before it started.

                If Demanding Moms were smart, they might actually have a little information packet detailing the Starbucks experience, and how gun owners became such a nuisance and disrupted their social media daily. Whenever another establishment gets caught up in the OC crossfire, Demanding Moms could just send the executives that packet and say “If you aren’t firm now, this is what you can expect from gun owners.” And it would work.

                But you want to talk about ridiculous notions of more Nanny State nonsense to punish businesses for making good business decisions in the face of disruptive gun toting idiots. Fail.

                1. I agree with most of what you say, but the bit about “ridiculous notions of more Nanny State nonsense to punish businesses“.

                  Keep in mind that when you willfully deprive someone of the ability to protect themselves from certain hazards, you generally assume a higher responsibility for their safety against those hazards.

                  Better way to phrase it (and this concept has been floated for years) is that, if enacted, would make “not doing anything about safe and legal firearms carry” the “good business decision” while simultaneously denying the antigun guys any way to claim victory. The business conversation between the business and Mommies Getting Paid By Mike Bloomberg For Some Action would go something like this:

                  “You have to ban guns in your stores, or we’ll boycott you!”

                  “Are you guys gonna make up the increase in my business expences when I have to provide armed physical security with a hard perimeter* or liability insurance to cover third-party criminal activities?”


                  “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Nice talking to you ladies. How about I do absolutely nothing, and it doesn’t cost me a dime in increased operating revenues?”

                  *(This plan is generally floated as giving business three choices – A. Do nothing about lawful gun carry, and receive civil immunity from being sued if some guy with a gun screws up and the store wasn’t actually negligent; B. Provide an honest-to-God “secure perimeter” with limited access, armed security to respond to threats, and a check of patrons and visitors, etc., so the store has taken reasonable efforts to ensure that no guns will be inside other than cops, contracted security, etc., and receive the same immunity as in A; or C. Accept full liability for the safety of their customers that they refuse to allow to defend themselves.)

                  1. Keep in mind that when you willfully deprive someone of the ability to protect themselves from certain hazards, you generally assume a higher responsibility for their safety against those hazards.

                    If I know that Restaurant A has a “no guns” policy, and I still choose to go in there instead of restaurants B, C, or D, or just cook food at home, at what point have they deprived me of anything?

                    If they can’t force you to go in there, they can’t force you to deprive you of the ability to protect yourself from “certain hazards”. You’d deprive yourself of that ability once you agreed to their terms and entered their establishment. If you don’t want to be “deprived”, you can choose to go somewhere else.

                    1. Would you sing the same tune if every restaurant and grocery store in your area were to prohibit the possession of firearms?

                    2. Would you sing the same tune if every restaurant and grocery store in your area were to prohibit the possession of firearms?

                      Of course. I recognize that private property rights trump my personal preferences. You do recognize private property rights, don’t you? I mean, this isn’t North Korea.

                    3. So, you’re OK with restaurants that have signs that say, “No Jews, blacks, or women allowed”.

                      Got it.

                      I see it differently — “public accomodations”. If you are running a public accomodation, you cannot generally discriminate against people for excercising their civil rights or for being in a protected category (race & sex are exclusively in the second category), provided they do so peacefully and in a manner that is not reasonably considered an infringement on your ability to do business.

                      Now, I have zero problems with a place that bans OC under their dress code.

                    4. “So, you’re OK with restaurants that have signs that say, “No Jews, blacks, or women allowed”.”

                      I’ll be honest about this: I see nothing wrong with an owner putting up such a sign in a business window. We have, or ought to have, freedom of association, and the Civil Rights act tramples on that basic right.

                      Having said that, many of the Jim Crow laws were problematic for this very reason: they forbade people who would have done business with blacks from doing that business.

                      What is really sad about these OC incidents is that we have places of private property really don’t care if we carry weapons on their property, but don’t have an interest in the right to keep and bear arms, and don’t want negative publicity, so they ban guns from the property.

                      It would be as though gays, being welcome in a given church that has no interest in gay rights, go into a church and start kissing, and thus get banned; or blacks, going into a restaurant that is neutral with regards to civil rights, making scenes about them being there, and thereby get banned as well. In either case, it’s hard to feel unsympathetic with the owners, and it gives fodder for anti-civil-rights folk…

                    5. “I see it differently — “public accomodations”….”


                      Frankly, I don’t see a difference between requiring businesses to respect their customers’ RKBA and requiring that they bake cakes for gay weddings, serve people of all colors/creeds/tribes/etc., or be handicapped accessible.

                      While I can agree that true freedom of association would be preferable, we must be realistic. Like it or not, but for the time being, the most effective way we can shield our rights is to make ourselves a protected class.

          3. That will never fly for private businesses even in a pro-gun state like Arizona. In AZ we can’t even get legislation to pass that would require allowing concealed carry for permit holders in public buildings if the no guns sign is not enforced with a guard or metal detector.

          4. Considering the fact that the US Supreme Court has ruled that even cops don’t have a responsibility to protect crime victims, I doubt that law allowing a suit against a fast food chain for failing to provide better protection than the police are required to would get very far.

            As for this – any time 1-2 idiots have a momentary lapse in tactics … This isn’t a momentary lapse. These idiots are consciously planning and carrying out actions that they’ve seen fail repeatedly in the past. It’s not like any of them were just driving home from the range, got hungry and didn’t want to leave a rifle unsecured in their convertible while they ran in to buy a burrito.

            1. The basis isn’t that the business failed to provide security for individual patrons — it is that they denied their patrons the opportunity to defend themselves, while simultaneously not taking up the slack.

              All a business would have to do to not assume responsibility for individual safety is. . . do nothing. . . no anti-gun policy, no problem. But if you purposefully disarm everyone and create a lunatic’s hunting ground, and then fail to protect against that reasonably anticipated threat, you have created an additional hazard whilst doing nothing to mitigate it.

              The distinction is very narrow, but extremely deep.

  5. They don’t want their stores/brand being used in the OC circus parade. I don’t blame them. These OC leaders don’t get it. They lack organization, PR skills, planning ability, and timing. They are a cancer to all gun owners.

  6. Thanks a lot, you stupid ba$#@%ds! Where am I supposed to go now? Taco Bell?

    We’ve all heard the phrase “if you got it, flaunt it”. In the case of the In Your Face OCers…do us a favor and leave it to breasts. You are hurting us.

        1. Probably the film Philadelphia had more to do with that victory than ACT UP.

          1. Doesn’t matter. 30 years on, they won. Because of the tactic, in spite of the tactic or for completely other reasons. Whatever the merits, the tactic could not have been a fatal error.

            1. The difference is, you cannot actually make getting sick a crime.

              Nor can you realistically legislate away homosexuality.

  7. I ate a cardboard “hamberger” at Jack-in-the-Box about 20 years ago. I love authentic Mexican food but Chapolte doesn’t serve that, so I don’t eat there either. As to Starbucks. I stop there once a week or so, I carry concealed (as always) and I drink the coffee.

  8. I see this as a trend, that companies want to get the anti-gunners off of them so they make a statement (strongly worded or not) and that is the end of it — the antis happily proclaim victory and move on to collect their next statement and the only people who ever hear what happened are the small percentage of us who follow the issue closely.

    Unless they post signs I suggest a different tack: ignore the news release. And we let Chipotles and Starbucks and Jack in the Box know that if they are not going to post an easily visible sign proclaiming they don’t want our business we will assume the store we are at is not participating and respectfully continue to legally carry our firearms into that establishment. Just as a large percentage of CCW holders will ignore it because they never heard it/heard of it. Unless the NRA wants to put their full weight into a boycott to promote it a boycott by a few blog-reading individuals will accomplish nothing because not enough will know about it and anti-gunners will get another victory by saying “See – the gun nuts called for a boycott and xxx sales didn’t suffer.”

    So throw it right back at them instead, and make the anti-gunners know about it. If you’ve not been banned from every anti-gun site go to all the celebratory posts and simply post something like: “I haven’t seen a no guns sign at my local xxx so apparently they’re not doing this. I’ll continue to carry there as I see fit.”

    1. You make a good point. Unfortunately, I think Shannon Watts would be happy to keep racking up faux victories, as long as it helps her build engagement and fundraise. As long as she can keep accomplishing that, she’d probably be happy to be ignored by the mainstream of our movement.

      My purpose in calling this out is that, hopefully, some of these guys might be amenable to pressure from people on our side. I’d ideally like people on our side to get fired up and continue to shame these people wherever they pop up.

      It could be argued they have no shame, and that might be true. I fully accept that I may very well be pissing into the wind. But I’d rather do that than just sit by and watch a very small minority of very ignorant people ruin things for millions of fellow gun owners and activists.

      1. I’m with you on that point.

        To a certain extent we’re victims of our own success; the movement is so large overall that even the fringe elements become noticeable.

      2. You’re not pissing in the wind.

        Consider the decrease in “me too” ism after the initial OC “parties” with these events compared to Starbucks.

        Now a large part of it is because the franchises are responding that much quicker.

        However, there seems to be less of a bandwagoning on our side, and there is much less of a social media and “come on down” aspect.

        Alas, as we’re seeing, it doesn’t take much for Sharon to get the response she wants.

        I would not be surprsied if we see a chain capitulate after the *initial* example of “man with a gun”.

        Which when coupled with the post that follows this one…

  9. These clowns always post pictures of themselves, I’d like to see sites like this start publicly outing them. Somebody out there knows who they are. We could start a “you’re not helping” hall of shame. Name and hometown should do it. Give the attention whores some attention.

  10. Not being up to speed on TX law, is there anything that prevents these “protests” from being held on the legislative steps instead of private property?

  11. I love food, all kinds. People, please stop ruining my eating by mixing food and politics. And don’t even think about picking Panera as the next franchise! I LOVE FOOD. Stop ruining my food!!!

    TLDR version – everything Sebastian already said

  12. I like Chipotle and I will continue to eat there. I will also continue to carry my firearm there – concealed.

  13. I’m crawling all over Chipotle’s site and don’t see that. Can someone provide a link that authenticates that statement? Not saying the demanding moms are lying, just that I don’t see anything on Chipotle’s site saying anything about that.

    1. They wouldn’t want to release it, because they don’t want a shit storm from gun owners. My guess is that the way Watts is working, is she bullies the company to give a release to her, for her to promote. There’s a very good chance she has the only copy of it.

      1. Very true. And since it came from a “corporate communications” flunky, management can disavow it when the shitstorm rolls in…

        1. There’s no way anyone in Public Relations would release a statement like that without being authorized to speak for the company, and without consulting senior management about what they are committing the company to.

  14. FWIW I just sent Chipotle a POLITE-mail telling them my family will no longer be visiting their stores, due to their new gun policy.


  15. When are Texas Republicans going to get off their asses and pass pistol open carry already? For those not aware, that’s why there has been so many rifle open carry incidents down there. They have no other options for open carry. You’d think that Texas of all places could get that done, but it keeps failing to pass.

    1. I wasn’t aware of that. Now I understand why it always seems to be rifle OC!


      1. It was rifle OC’ers that cost us Starbuck’s neutrality — and most of those were in states where handgun OC was perfectly legal (unlike Texas).

        No, rifle OC always seeme to be involved because wearing business casual and wearing a sidearm in a holster just doesn’t attract the same kind of attention the narcissistic twits that get attracted to OC events crave like an addict craves his next fix. By and large, someone who is doing an OC awareness event with a pistol and acting normal just doesn’t draw adverse attention from the public. It’s just normal people, being normal, while visibly armed.

        But extreme attention (adverse or not) is what Threepersaurus and The Tapco Kid are looking for — that’s the whole reason they’re involved! Acting out ensures they get what they came for — attention.

        (Not all, or even most OC activists – even the pretty vehement ones – are narcissts. . . but the movement does attract them out of proportion to their mumbers, because OC’ing a tac’ed out SKS gets them stared at.)

  16. 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.

    Like the “anxiety and discomfort” their food causes for their customers on their next trip to the bathroom?

  17. A press release that is not on their site hardly satisfies signage laws like Texas 30-06 or even trespass laws. For all practical purposes, they didn’t say it.

    1. Except that they did say it, and Demanding Moms are blasting the internet about their latest win, and giving themselves more credibility because they actually accomplish things. The clowns bringing rifles to Chipotle? The only thing they accomplished was giving Demanding Moms credibility and getting fence straddlers off the fence, in the wrong direction of course.

        1. Richard, that is wholly irrelevant in terms of the battle actually being fought.

          SO WHAT if Chipolte didn’t meet the “legal requirements” to actually ban guns?!? That isn;t what this is about!

          This is a “hearts and minds” game to be played in the press and the various legislatures – it has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you would go to jail if you carried your gun into Chipolte.

          Arguing about the legal requirements of 30-06 signage in this context is like the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff were discussing how to fight WWII in 1943, and you pop up and shout, “PEANUT BUTTER!”

          1. Just to help you out, I was suggesting that Chipolte is not being serious if they don’t post. I will concur that the folks in TX gave the media some talking points. Unfortunately, so did you. More informed and thus more dangerous ones. I have no way of knowing whether the the people involved were a false flag or just jerks but I do know that our side hyperventilating about it just helps the bad guys.

          2. Nobody needed to mine mine quotes to find the damage. You have a pair of weirdos, standing around with loaded rifles, with one of them holding it like he’s getting ready to shoot someone.

            This is not something that needs to be explained to a whole lot of people — except those who see nothing wrong in encouraging a losing tactic and dangerously stupid (and irresposible) behavior.

  18. These so called “Open Carry Activists” aren’t pro 2nd Amendment, they’re anti’s. I would hazard a guess that they actually work for the anti-carry idiots. If I ever see them I’m going to ask them how long they’ve been working for Shannon Watts.

  19. Here are the only relevant sections in the Chipolte statement:

    Historically, we felt it enough to simply comply with local laws regarding the open or concealed carrying of firearms,…

    But this issue is not central to the operation of our business, and we do not feel that our restaurants should be used as a platform for either side of the debate.

    Period. Frigging. Dot. All Stop.

    They didn’t give a damn — so these yahoos forced them to give a damn by interfering with their business, so they took the easy way out and sucked up to Bloomberg’s Mommies.

    And THAT is what the Texas legislature will remember the next time legal OC gets proposed.

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