Panera Bread is the latest U.S. company to ask customers not to pack heat.
"Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America" is behind the push. It says it had intense talks with Panera Bread Company for months.
Panera's CEO Ronald M. Shaich released the following 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."
However, Panera Bread Corporate has made this change in policy, which ask guests not to carry guns, and it affects only the Panera LLC/Corporate-owned locations. In Oklahoma, all Panera stores are franchised, and not required to follow the new policy.
All Oklahoma franchised stores follow the Oklahoma state laws pertaining concealed weapons and open carry. In other words, this new mandate does not affect Oklahoma at all.
A Panera spokeswoman said the company will not ask its employees to enforce the new guideline, nor will the policy be posted in the restaurants.
Other chains have adopted voluntary restrictions and have declined to post no-guns signs in their stores.
The "Moms Demand Action" group has gotten several stores to ban guns in their businesses, including Target, Chipotle, Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Chili's and even Oklahoma City-based Sonic.
The main reason is to make customers feel comfortable and to prevent employees from having to intervene if something happens.