Shannon Watts Targets Chili’s

Fresh off the fallout from Chipotle, we have another battle in the Restaurant Wars to fight. Now Shannon Watts is going after Chili’s with the hashtag #RibsNotRifles, and it already looks like Chili’s is pre-conceding:

Chili’s isn’t going that far yet, but the idea is on the table. “Given the recent attention to open carry laws, we are evaluating our policy to ensure we provide a safe environment for our guests and team members,” a spokeswoman for Brinker International, Chili’s parent company, told The Huffington Post.

I’m not going to slam Open Carry Texas, because they did the right thing yesterday in offering new guidelines that includes telling people not to carry in restaurants. I sure wish they had gotten word out to supporters to remove any pictures or video of OC events in restaurants from the Internet, so they couldn’t be used against us. I certainly hope they are doing that now.

For all the losses so far, I never really frequented Starbucks very much, because I very seldom drink coffee. We don’t have Jack in the Box around here, so no big loss there. I’ve never been a big fan of Chipotle either. But Chili’s is kind of our go-to place when we don’t feel like cooking and are looking for something cheap. I’ve never felt a need to carry a long gun into Chili’s and film the reaction of the staff, but there have been times when we’ve decided to stop while I have a concealed pistol on me. So this would be the first loss that hurts if I can no longer eat in Chili’s because they don’t want business from those kinds of people, i.e. Bitter and me.

I sincerely hope that Chili’s decides to follow state law on the matter, but at this point, I wouldn’t blame them if they set a policy that customers may not display firearms while dining. But I do hope they consider that there are approximately 10 million potential customers in the United States who won’t be eating at their establishment if they cave to Shannon Watts.

UPDATE: I just noticed, as predicted, they are going after Sonic with #ShakesNotShotguns. Bitter grew up in Oklahoma, so she loves Sonic, but our nearest one isn’t that close, so we don’t go as often as we like. Though, given Sonic is mostly a drive-in, I doubt they will seriously want to regulate what their customers keep in their own vehicles.

29 thoughts on “Shannon Watts Targets Chili’s”

  1. Since some states have “parking lot” carry laws, and you generally park and eat in the car at Sonic while they bring food to the window, can Sonic even legally ban carry in those states? At the outdoor tables, sure, but I think we might have defined the “keeping it locked up in your own car” loophole.

    As I said commenting on your earlier post, unless there is a huge and nationally promoted boycott against these places OR they actually put up “no gun” signs I’m going to ignore any online statements about open carry. I don’t open carry, and I’m assuming those online statements are corporate and that the local restaurant/franchiser has decided not to ban guns. And in any case from what I’ve read they’re only about open carry and so don’t affect me as a licensed carrier.

    It would be interesting to see what we can do if the NRA wades in and goes full bore, maybe even seeing if they can incite some picket lines at restaurants, but I’m not sure how that would turn out for us. Gun activism makes some people uncomfortable.

    1. There is a Sonic just about every square mile around OKC, I think it’s state law or something. That said, the only people I see using the walk-up order window and outdoor tables are high school kids. I don’t think Sonic wants to take a position on this, especially considering they really don’t need to.

  2. You know, I’ve never really been an open carrier or a concealed carrier, I just carry a gun. But frankly every “open carrier” I meet now I just want to ask one question, “Was it worth it?”*

    Because frankly I feel !@#$ed right now. Numerous things I used to regularly do, without issue I might add, are now gone because some narcissistic retard decided he was going to cause PSH in the middle of a restaurant. Rarely if ever did someone notice that my gun was unconcealed, but now I’m going to be asked to leave or trespassed depending.

    *What will totally make my day is if they respond with, “Was what worth it?” because the response is simple, “!@#$ing every gun owner over for your selfish ass.”

    1. Please don’t think the majority of us open carriers are anything like fatty and snowboots. I OC because it is more comfortable and more convenient. They did it for the notoriety.

    2. Please don’t forget that there are a lot of us who open carry who ARE NOT like CJ Grisham and his merry band of asshats.

      I would be more than happy to get no attention / reaction to my OC’ing at all. Most of the time I don’t, and what little reaction I do get is usually very positive.

  3. I’m glad OCT is making some adjustments, but its unfortunate that they gave Watts a bunch of momentum that she’s continuing to roll with. But while I think that OCing rifles into businesses is dumb and that we should police ourselves, I don’t want to continue piling on the OCers. Especially since OCT appears to be changing their ways.

    I’m not going to criticize the OCers anymore. I’m going to criticize the harpy bitch who shouldn’t be dragging private businesses into this (neither side should). Her popular support is so pathetic that she can’t influence government, so she’s using mob justice tactics to bully businesses who want nothing to do with the issue.

    In the private sector, it doesn’t matter if you’re a small minority if you can shrilly scream the loudest. This suits MDA much better than working for change in gov’t.

  4. I don’t understand… are these statements going to be enforced as policy or are they just public shamings? I see a lot of “asking,” no no real directive. No signs going up. Is it a victory or a loss if it’s forgotten a week later?

    I’m lucky. I don’t live in a battleground state. But as anxious as such statements make me, I wonder what the real long term effect is.

    1. Basically with the statements you’re probably going to be asked to leave, especially if a customer complains and which point if you don’t you’re going to get trespassed.

      I’m pissed because those of us in free states just got screwed because concealed carry is now the only option.

    2. None of them are ironclad statements. Watts can thing she’s won, but all of the statements are “we ask you don’t carry” not “we are banning them from our stores.”

      So this is really overblown.

      1. It’s a propaganda game for public opinion, not a court battle for a legal ruling.

        The anti-civil rights bigots not only “won”, they were handed the victory, giftwrapped, with a shiny bow around it, after these attention whores were told this would happen — because it already DID happen in other stores.

  5. You have to wonder just how old those pictures that Watts is posting are. Do they come from a day ago, a week ago, a month ago, or a year ago? If they are old, we need to call her out on it especially if it isn’t happening anymore (e.g. Smashburger).

    That said, I agree that it is important to cleanse blogs and open carry sites where Shannon and her evil minions are trolling of these pictures just to prevent her from getting any more publicity.

    And speaking of pictures, I’d love to see pictures of Shannon and her armed security guards eating in restaurants that are posted against carry.

    1. Which is itself a sign of where Shannon has leveraged the momentum of her wins to move into the “pre crime” phase.

      That said it is very good that OCT changed its policy as that keeps more fuel from coming onto the fire.

      And hopefully denies her momentum.

      It also shows the level of deviousness Shannon will stoop to: see Smash Burger.

      This is not new but is important to keep in mind that her group is willing to *fake* an open carry event (or more specifically lie about the year it happened).

      Outright lying about where an OC event happened isn’t far behind.

      1. Outright lying about where an OC event happened isn’t far behind.

        It is already occurring… Reference the “hid in the freezer” incident that never happened.

        The media doesn’t give a shit about getting this right. Heck, most of the media elites want us in a prison or ditch.

  6. #RibsNotRidicule


  7. It’s clear that gun control groups are generally frustrated legislatively, and are flailing to find something to stick to the wall. Presumeably now that they’ve met some success with getting some businesses to ban guns, they are going to make the rounds with all the chain and big box stores. This is nothing but petty culture-war bullshit, but real all the same.

  8. The easiest way for these restaurants to diffuse this might be to ban (or even ask people not to bring) long guns.

    Some people will still find cause to be butthurt, but the whole mess would fizzle out quickly.

    1. NRA could make a statement: ban long guns, we’ll stay out.

      Ban legal handgun carry (as opposed to open carry), or the next chain that issues one of these weasel anti-gun “statements” that tries to straddle the line about whether you’re banning (which probably has no force, but might get exploited in some controversial case to bite some decent citizen who defends herself in a Chipotle or whatever) — they are going to get hurt bad by a full-court negative push of the kind that the pro-gun forces are conspicuously NOT doing now.

      Start evening out the incentives for the corporate types who are making the calls here. They fear exactly two things: bad pub and litigation. Choose your tools.

      1. Why would NRA members, nearly none of whom have ever desired to carry a long gun to a restaurant, going to want to take a position on long gun carry in restaurants? Why also would NRA want to take a position on this? Only nut jobs want to carry long arms into restaurants.

        1. It doesn’t behoove you to use their language on our own people.

          “Only nut jobs want to carry handguns into restaurants.”
          “Only nut jobs want to carry guns”
          “Only nut jobs want guns”.

          They aren’t nut jobs. They just are misguided.

          1. “Misguided” gives these choads too much credit. At best they’re sub-moronic attention whores who don’t understand how badly they’re alienating people with behavior that cannot be “normalized” because it has never, at any point in history, been normal. At worst, they’re sociopaths who do know, and don’t care.

  9. In the end it means nothing, corporate statements carry no weight legally, at most they can ask you to leave or try to press trespass charges if you do not.

    This takes up their time and money to do.

    And they don’t want to spend their time and money in court.

  10. Stop whining and either start outlining plans for a huge, punitive boycott (just one chain getting massively picketed by NRA members for a month will put the scare in the rest and they’ll start resisting the Moms).

    Or start drawing up state safety legislation mandating that if a public accommodation bans legal carry, it assumes a heightened duty of care to protect the physical safety of all customers. Failure to post visible, armed security (while banning carry) is prima facie evidence of a breach of this duty; trial would simply proceed to damages.


    1. I ask again: right now there are no contrary incentives on the scale counseling corporations to stay out of this.

      Unless you are going to do somethign to change that — show that costs will be imposed for totally caving to that vile, un-American oligarch’s minions — then you’ll continue to lose on this.

      How are you going to punch back?

  11. I sure wish they had gotten word out to supporters to remove any pictures or video of OC events in restaurants from the Internet, so they couldn’t be used against us.

    They also couldn’t have been used to debunk the lies.

  12. I contacted Chili’s and received the following in reply as to the carrying of firearms:

    Dear Mr. Ace,

    Thanks for contacting us regarding Chili’s.

    Recent “open carry” events have prompted diverse feedback from our guests. While we have asked guests to refrain from bringing their firearms into our restaurants, we are still following local laws. For example, under many local liquor laws, open carry of long guns is not permitted, so we won’t allow them in our restaurants. And if local laws permit concealed carry or open carry of a handgun in restaurant, we will continue to honor those laws.

    Thanks again for reaching out to us.


    Chili’s Guest Relations

    Reference Number: 939772

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