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Chili’s, Sonic-Drive-In tell gun owners to leave firearms at home

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Sonic-Drive-In and Chili's Bar & Grill both issued statements asking diners to refrain from bringing concealed weapons into their restaurants, even if they have a permit, NBC News reported Friday.

Sonic Vice President of Public Relations Patrick Lenow told the news agency in an email that while the drive-in chain respected current gun laws, certain actions led to new consideration for their restaurants' policies.

"While we historically have relied upon local laws to guide how we address the display of guns at drive-ins, recent actions required we carefully reconsider this approach. We've considered the views and desires of our customers and employees that staff the drive-ins across the country. Accordingly, we're asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas. With respect to the storage of guns in vehicles, we ask that our customers continue to honor local laws," he said.

Chili's parent owner Brinker International issued a statement asking customers to keep their handguns out of plain sight following recent incidents at some of its restaurants.

"We recognize that the open carry of firearms in restaurants creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws. So, we kindly ask that guests refrain from openly carrying firearms into our restaurants and we will continue to follow state and local laws on this issue," Brinker public relations manager Ashley Johnson said in an email to CNBC.

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About the Author
Kellan Howell

Kellan Howell

Kellan Howell, an investigative reporter for The Washington Times, covers campaign finance and government accountability. Originally from Williamsburg, Va., Kellan graduated from James Madison University where she received bachelor’s degrees in media arts and design and international affairs with a concentration in western European politics.

During her time at JMU, she interned for British technology and business news website “ITPro” ...

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