Panera Bread is the latest store to ask its patrons not bring firearms into its restaurants, CNBC reports.
On Monday, Panera CEO Ron Shaich said that “we’re simply respectfully requesting that people leave their guns at home. The request is simply we recognize everyone’s rights. But we also recognize that we are building communities in our cafes and are where people come to catch a breath.”
“It’s that simple,” he continued.
However, he noted that all Panera stores would continue to follow state and local firearms laws, and would not require employees to confront anyone who violated the new policy.
“We’re certainly not going to put our associates in the position of confronting someone carrying a gun,” he said. “We won’t put our cafe management in the position of being law enforcement.”
“I think this industry has attempted to figure out how it stands out of ‘make a point’ political battles by advocates on either extreme,” Shaich added.
“I think what we feel is we’re trying to be respectful of people’s rights while at the same time ensuring that Panera isn’t the battleground for political statement.”
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America thanked Panera for its decision:
[“Angry Soldier Holding Gun” on Shutterstock]