On September 8, 2014 Panera Bread released the following statement: “Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment; we are currently working to create for our guests and associates”. Employees at Panera Bread will continue to follow state and local laws regarding firearm policies. Legislation regarding the open carry of a handgun varies by state. Local governments can enact regulation banning guns in a specific area as long as management post signs alerting patrons to the rules. Panera Bread operates 1,800 cafes, which are located in 45 states including Canada. To date, Panera Bread has not had any issues with firearms at any of its locations.
There have been similar announcements made in the last year by Starbucks, Target, Chipotle, and Sonic. It seems that all of these companies are a middle-of-the road approach to avoid offending anyone on the U.S. gun debate. While these companies are willing to say “no guns please”, they are stopping short of banning firearms outright, but what is wrong with banning firearms?
Our government has refused to enact sensible gun laws, like proper background checks on every gun sale in the county. There is nothing wrong with businesses wanting to protect their customers, when lawmakers will not. I understand that businesses do not want to jeopardize their bottom line, but if businesses joined together to protect their customers and they all prohibit guns then, it will be a safe environment for us. If all businesses joined together in prohibiting guns this would resolve the issue of losing profits due to their position on guns.