“On Monday, Panera Bread became the latest U.S. company to ask customers to leave their guns at home,” huffingtonpost.com reports. “The bakery-cafe chain joins Starbucks, Chipotle, Target and a handful of other restaurants and retailers in making such a request, which comes amid an increasingly heated debate over the role of guns in public places.” Note: just like the aforementioned companies, Panera is not banning legally carried firearms from its stores (as they have a legal right to do). They’re asking customers not to carry in their stores. The statement says . . .

Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth. This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. 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.

And once again we’d like to point out that any company “requesting” customer disarmament puts employees at risk and makes itself the target of criminal attack (and thus its customers).

Panera has been the locus of multiple armed robberies including Omaha, Nebraska; Ocala, Florida; Indianapolis, Indiana; Milton, Georgia; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Aberdeen, Maryland; Needham, Massachusetts; Greensboro, South Carolina and Gainesville, Georgia. To name a few.

Not to mention customers who have been attacked in Panera parking lots, as was the case in this carjacking in Columbus, Ohio. Or this mugging in Eldersburg, Maryland.

Anyway, the chances that the People of the Gun will leave their legally carried firearm at home while visiting Panera are lower than a snake’s belly. There will be some, however, who will cease to spend their money where they’re not wanted.

And some who will greet this news as a sign of a gun control victory. I give you Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America [via cnbc.com]

“We are thrilled that after months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action, Panera is taking a proactive position in favor of our families’ safety by putting a new gun policy in place. Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families’ safety. We urge other national companies follow suit.” 

cnbc.com reckons MDA’s winning: “So far, momentum is moving in favor of the moms.” True?

191 Responses to BREAKING: Panera Asks Customers To Leave Their Guns At Home

    • +1, they cater to yuppie/hipster/soccer mom progressive lefties, so this is not breaking news. The people I know who go to Panera Bread aren’t going to be aware of this and they won’t care.

      • -1

        I like Panera.

        Plus, assuming everyone who goes there would not know what is going on and do not pay attention to the news is very elitist and exclusionary of you.

        I feel like a broken record, but we can’t criticize the antis for behaviors that we collectively do too.

        • +1 Bear.

          I’m a country boy and I love Panera.

          I’d slap my grandma for some Panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup in a bread bowl.

        • Unlike Panera no one here is forcing you t surrender your rights as outlined In the BOR. You are free to state your beliefs and act according to your free will. You are free to surrender your rights, one at a time until they are all just memories.

        • The bear should be our spokesperson. I’ve agreed with just about every post you’ve had, bear.

      • I eat at Panera bread like three times a week.

        I would eat there more often if they were “Panera bread, guns, and ammo.” Now that is some environmental “Panera Warmth” I could grow to embrace.

    • Watts’ MDA requires two things to keep it alive.

      Bloomie’s money and publicity. It wouldn’t surprise me if MDA’s game plan is systematically research every major retail corporation and find the ones without explicit customer firearm policies. Then turn up the PR heat on them.

      Have you noticed these little jems are being disclosed at very regular intervals?

      These regular media bites keeps MDA exposure continual.

      A classic PR campaign.

      • eventually, one of two things will happen.

        1) Bloomy wins and guns are banned everywhere; or

        2) Bloomy loses and takes his toys and goes home.

        In either instance, Shannon becomes another downsized employee for the midget billionaire. Which means her paid bodyguards and private SUV/limo goes away. What then when she has to mix among the commoners again? Has she really thought thru about the state of the world she wants to create 10 yrs from now? or is she just living for the moment and assuming she will have another wealthy benefactor to keep her among the elites?

    • I see that MDA has taken a fancy to Mr. Sharpton’s sleazy business model; the private business shakedown. First, find a business that doesn’t treat us like the plague. Second, threaten to unleash the “tide” of mothers on the non-compliant private business by promising loads of bad PR (see Kroeger) for continued non-compliance. Third, claim victory after private company issues non-binding “requests” to customers. These collectivists are just a plague.

      • This is why you never give in to terrorists. Because someone back in the day caved, without reason, for something that wasn’t their fault, now lots of organizations can hold your business hostage with bad press.

        It’s one thing if you deserve it (Pinto, Ford Exloder, etc.). It’s another if someone’s trying to use you to further THEIR agenda.

  1. Panera Warmth? Please, please, please fire all the marketing @ssh0les and send them to FEMA camps where they can be taught a more productive trade, like politics or drug dealing.

    • Panera’s food isn’t that great.. But they will make a target rich environment for the bad guys.. I won’t go there unless they have some serious insurance cause should I get hurt inside their place I will be suing them for a bunch.. They are stopping no one with the banning of guns..criminals don’t care..

  2. Due to the nature of my business, I wind up meeting lots of my clients and prospects at Panera.

    I’ve always carried concealed there, and will continue to do so. However, you can bet that I won’t suggest Panera as a meeting place.

    • +1. I have a weekly meeting there with 6 attendees – might not cancel immediately, but will surely find alternatives. Their coffee sucks anyway…

      • brew it at home instead – half dark roast, half light roast. goes on sale once every 6 wks, buy enough to last, save a ton of $$ and time getting out of the car

  3. It’s almost like these businesses want to make it easy for us to know where we shouldn’t spend our money…

  4. Has Panera ever had a robbery? Of course, Google it. Has Panera ever had an accidental discharge or any other such annoyance or incident with any customer who open carried a gun into their business? No.

    I am no longer a customer of Panera, but it has nothing to do with this idiotic, follow the politically incorrect crowd of anti-Second Amendment banditeers. I ceased going to Panera when after 3 trips they continued to serve stale croissants for breakfast. I really did not want to give them up because they were convenient where I lived at the time, but 3 different days stretched out over a 6 week period. Finally, enough was enough, stale croissants!

  5. Could these open carry assholes STOP ALREADY!! It is NOT normal to see somebody with a long-gun strapped to his back ordering a sandwich unless you are in downtown Kabul. They keep picking battles where there were none and keep losing. I open carry my HANDGUN all the time but I would expect that open carrying my AR-15 would provoke some pretty negative reactions.

    Know when your tactics are losing more battles than they are winning and change them accordingly.

    • Has anyone open-carried a rifle at Panera? In Panera’s case, their “request” does not seem to be in response to any specific incident.

      And don’t forget that MDA and Panera don’t want your open-carried handgun either. In fact, they don’t won’t a concealed one as well, they are just being incremental about it.

      If we don’t find an effective way to respond, this will escalate. I wish I had any good ideas.

        • If they don’t put one of those no guns signs at their entrance how would the average gun owner know? I certainly don’t commit to memory all of these idiotic businesses. I’ve got better uses of my brain cells.

        • I used to frequent Panera, although here in NJ CCW is a moot point anyway. But I don’t see myself shopping there anymore. It was fun buying French bread, but asking for Freedom Bread instead. I’ll miss those confused looks.

      • This is clearly in response to the open carry demonstrations that have been failing over the last year or so. This never would have come up if not for those self defeating numbskulls.

        • You have something to support that statement?

          Blind conjecture does not help our side at all. Thinking something is true does not, in fact, make it true.

          But, it’s nice to see their “Divide and Conquer” tactic has gained some traction.

        • @ JR in NC. Proof to support that claim? Yeah. See; Target, Sarbucks, Chipotle, and now Panera, to name a few. Here’s a thought.. If 1 open carried AR is good for normalizing firearms in public, why not carry 2? Or 4? No one is saying that OC is a bad thing, we’re just begging you to stop helping MDA win this PR war. Every picture of some bearded survivalist in cammies, or chubby misanthrope, carrying a slung rifle at low ready is a PR victory for MDA and their ilk.

          This is not a war of logic, it’s a war of feelings. Why do you think MDA uses visceral images in their campaigns with pictures of 5 year olds holding MSRs, or a picture of a child in a Kroger next to a man with a low slung AR? Is it because it appeals to peoples logical side, or because it leaves people associating MSR=Fear? For that matter, have you noticed that every one of the pictures in the recent Kroger campaign featured an AR slung to the front? Think about that for a second…

          When was the last time you heard MDA, VPC or Everytown quote the constitution? When was the last time you saw anything from them that wasn’t hysterical, misleading, and down right absurdly manipulative? When have you seen a single plea from them that didn’t mention “for the children” in some capacity?

          Every time a Chipotle ninja open carries a rifle in public, it looks just like an MDA ad. It doesn’t matter that rifle OC may eventually normalize firearms in some capacity. All that matters is that every recent ad campaign by MDA (and fair or not, they have a big bandstand to preach from) is validated every time someone posts a picture of an AK in the produce aisle of the grocery store.

          So please. Keep open carrying. Keep fighting that fight. But for the love of god, be smarter about it.

        • I’m asking you if there is any proof that

          “This never would have come up if not for those self defeating numbskulls.”

          Your belief that there is a connection is meaningless.

          Further, I would once again point out that

          Target, Sarbucks, Chipotle

          have not banned anything. They issued “press releases” with “requests.” Big Whoop.

          They have not done the one thing they could have to actually ban firearms in there stores.

          And, you do realize that those in Chipotle were there with the manager’s approval and no one actually in the store at the time, including two cops, was bothered by it?

          So, keep on with your divisive attitude … keep giving MDA that power over yourself. In the meantime, the rest of will continue to fight the good fight.

        • Proof? Prior to these open carry rallies in business there weren’t large companies putting out press releases saying please don’t bring your guns, afterwards, several large chains have been doing just that. If you absolutely HAVE to have 100% proof then nothing less than a statement from each company involved saying exactly why will suffice but if you put 2 and 2 together it is easy enough to see the cause. I am not saying that those dragging long-guns into stores don’t have their hearts in the right place but it is CLEARLY counter-productive.

        • If you absolutely HAVE to have 100% proof then nothing less than a statement from each company involved saying exactly why will suffice

          Now you are getting it. That’s how fact driven logic works.

          Your putting 2 and 2 together is your speculation, and frankly that does not interest me. It’s nothing personal.

          The bigger point is that by falling for this, you are letting them in your head…letting them call the shots and control the dialog.

          Another big point to remember is that even without the OC activists, Watts, et al would be doing the exact same thing. They work to get guns banned everywhere and as such, the OC folks have, in reality, given them nothing.

          And the fact that MDA has pushed for increased gun controls completely unrelated to OC activism is supported by recorded fact. So, what do you say that we stop letting them divide us and stand strong against their statism across the board?

        • by falling for this, you are letting them in your head…letting them call the shots and control the dialog.

          Exactly correct. And you are allowing them to keep you away from places you would otherwise want to go to or shop at. Why let them control you? Do what you want. Exchange money for services or products. I bet most people who refuse to go to Sonic or Target work for an employer who doesn’t allow guns, but somehow that exchange of services for money is okay.

          You are letting MDA keep you out of stores and restaurants, and that’s exactly what they want. If it works, they’ll keep doing it, so it’s going to get worse, not better.

          even without the OC activists, Watts, et al would be doing the exact same thing.

          Yep.

        • See, this is what i’m talking about. There are basically 2 or 3 people here that display this kind of hard headed mentality, and about 50 that have completely given up trying to talk to you. You insist on the efficacy of your position, and demand nothing less than a written statement from businesses before you’ll really examine the results of the actions you espouse.

          Starbucks didn’t want to get involved in the mess that is the 2A argument, and released perfectly reasonable solutions that should have appeased everyone. OC activists started shoving it back in their face, and showing up in droves at stores, posing for photo ops that collectively freaked out Americans that didn’t have an opinion about it before they saw pictures of people with ARs in a coffee shop. MDA, predictably, got those pictures and ran with them. As Napoleon said, “never correct your enemy while he is making a mistake”. Shortly after this, OC activists all over America decided that the logical response to this error in judgement, was to repeat it over and over in front of cameras.

          Within about a year, our side of this fight repeated this mistake over and over, until major businesses in America started to capitulate to public pressure by anti gun groups and the incredibly biased MSM. Predictably, these tepid responses were declared to be victories by the anti gun groups, who then used that momentum to pressure more companies to request that customers not bring guns to stores. It doesn’t matter that the requests really have no legal backing, or credible threat of reprisal. All that matters is the optics. And the optics are that several major companies now “support” the “common sense” position of MDA. With friends like the Chipotle ninjas, who needs enemies?

          And speaking of the Chipotle ninjas, and the cops that you report were there. I have a challenge for you. Find me a picture of those cops, with a description of the context of the picture, in a major news outlet. Can’t find one? Hmm… Well, that doesn’t really help us now, does it? The only picture I saw (repeated over and over) on the news, was of 2 fairly shady looking goobers carrying rifles in a less than non threatening manner. And before you hop all over “non threatening”, let me pose a question to you. Which image would the average (voting) American find less threatening: Barney Fife, or a militarized SWAT cop in body armor, a balaclava and helmet, with an AR at low ready? Ding ding, you just grasped a basic understanding of optics.

          Context doesn’t matter, and neither do intentions. If you want to win this fight, you have to be smarter than this. For all of our sakes, you have to wrap your head around the fact that this is a battle of image (and images, really).

        • @JR_in_NC
          If you are unable to see simple cause and effect without having it spelled out for you then you are obviously not using your brain. You can’t seriously suggest we not call out people who are counter productive to gun rights simply because this would be “divide and conquer”. Open carry of long-guns scares the crap out of most people because it is not normal in cities ANYWHERE outside of war-zones. You want to wear a handgun openly – cool, you want to dress like Rambo when you go out, you are going to upset people and cause a knee jerk reaction in the opposite direction of where we want to go.

          If you want to sit there with you hands over your ears yelling “I can’t hear you” when the people who are trying to protect our rights are telling you that you are hurting the cause then there isn’t anything anybody can say to convince you otherwise. But anybody with half a brain and any situational awareness at all can tell that these open carry dicks are giving ammo to MDA and the like. Yeah Bloomberg and Watts would be trying to do this without the open carry demonstrations but they would just be nagging harpies that are easy to blow off if we didn’t keep giving them something to point at and say “See, this is fucking crazy!”. This is a battle for hearts and minds, doing the same bullheaded stunts that scare the crap out of the average shopper is going to win us NEITHER.

        • Open carry of long-guns scares the crap out of most people because it is not normal in cities

          This mostly happened in California and Texas because they don’t have handgun OC. Are you visiting Calguns and Texas gun forums and telling them this, or are you just whining here?

        • If you are unable to see simple cause and effect without having it spelled out for you then you are obviously not using your brain. You can’t seriously suggest we not call out people who are counter productive to gun rights simply because this would be “divide and conquer”.

          There were open carry protests held in Panera establishments? Customer complaints? Or was this merely behind-the-scenes bullying from MDA?

          Open carry of long-guns scares the crap out of most people because it is not normal in cities ANYWHERE outside of war-zones. You want to wear a handgun openly – cool, you want to dress like Rambo when you go out, you are going to upset people and cause a knee jerk reaction in the opposite direction of where we want to go.

          By the logic you’re espousing, people who attempt to distribute Christian tracts at a public park in Dearborn, MI, are harmful to the first amendment, because their exercise of their freedoms of speech and religious expression are considered to be offensive by the Muslim citizenry in that city.

          Irrational fear of hoplophobes does not and should not constitute grounds to infringe the rights of law-abiding citizens. If you’re fearful of someone walking down a city street with a safely, openly carried long gun, you are ignorant and your fear is irrational. Long guns kill fewer people than hammers or baseball bats each year, and among criminals who commit crimes with guns, more than 90% of them do so with concealed handguns.

          But anybody with half a brain and any situational awareness at all can tell that these open carry dicks are giving ammo to MDA and the like.

          I find it instructive that you use far more invective language when referring to open carriers than you do when referring to the wanna-be tyrants attempting to take away our God-given rights.

          Yeah Bloomberg and Watts would be trying to do this without the open carry demonstrations but they would just be nagging harpies that are easy to blow off…

          And how are they anything otherwise, as it is? They have accomplished absolutely nothing. Not a single company has enacted a legally enforceable policy banning the carry of firearms.

          This is a battle for hearts and minds, doing the same bullheaded stunts that scare the crap out of the average shopper is going to win us NEITHER.

          [citation needed] for assertion that open carry has “scare[d] the crap out of the average shopper”. Perhaps you should read fewer MDA press releases.

        • “There are basically 2 or 3 people here that display this kind of hard headed mentality, and about 50 that have completely given up trying to talk to you. “

          Again, you seem to have trouble with fact based decision making.

          There are only two of us in this particular thread, but on other comment pages, there are far others. And, how do you know there are 50 that have completely given up?

          That is pure, blind speculation and you state it as fact. You don’t get to make crap up and assert conclusions from that made up crap and not get called on it. Geez, man, that’s what the grabbers do, and we ridicule the dickens out of them for it.

          I find it sad that you are missing the bigger picture. You are being blinded by your own emotion, your own bias in this discussion (that is, you think OC is a problem, so you project that onto all of us with the assumption that because you think it, you must be right, and therefore we all must think it, too).

          Have you ever heard the phrase “give an inch, they take a mile?” That is exactly what you are doing. You are conceding ground to them, and worse, are doing so without basis.

          Provide evidence that OC activism in TEXAS is driving these decisions, and that MDA’s efforts are occurring at a greater degree than it would without OC activism. Point of fact is, you can’t. You guess. You emote. You assume that something you don’t like is causing a problem…just like they assume guns are the problem.

          Yep. Divide and conquer. Their strategy is working. On some, anyway.

        • I don’t open carry. I prefer concealed carry.

          I find no reference to either method of carry in “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

          Carry on, open carriers.

        • OK – well you all keep hard charging and dragging out the long guns time and time again while more and more business request we leave them at home. Keep giving Bloomberg and MDA the ammo they need to try and force more business to capitulate, and these organizations will be able to claim more and more “success” . Like it or not this is a PR war and being stubborn and giving these people more ammo is not the way to go. If you REALLY don’t see a connection to these long-gun carrying protests and the requests keep guns out of these businesses then no amount of persuasion will help you see past your own nose on this. Just try not to keep fucking things up (although I know you will), and be prepared to have a lot of gun owners really pissed off at you the next time one of these stunts ends up costing us more of our rights.

        • C’mon. There are 100,000,000 gun owners in America. Outside of a 2A rally or OCT demonstration, how often do you see people carrying long guns? Especially in businesses?

        • “If you are unable to see simple cause and effect without having it spelled out for you then you are obviously not using your brain. “

          Quite the contrary, my friend. I’m a scientist specifically trained in drawing conclusions from data not speculation. What you are ascribing to ’cause and effect’ we in the hard sciences might well call “made up fantasy.”

          You cannot support your assertion with any evidence.

          If you have evidence to support your thesis, I would be glad to review it and possible change my position if the data warrant. Until then, I reject your speculations out of hand. Sorry.

          It’s the same thing we do to MDA and that bunch when they make stuff up. We should hold ourselves to the same standard we demand from them and generally claim for ourselves.

      • I don’t think Panera cares either way about the issue or they would have made a rule before being bullied into it by the Moms. By issuing a weak request to leave guns at home they’re pandering to the Moms. But if given a wish, I’m sure Panera would wish the Moms had never shown up, dragging Panera into a situation that will divide clientele.

      • If we don’t find an effective way to respond, this will escalate. I wish I had any good ideas.

        Come on – this is the age of the Internet. Get on the corporate website and “Contact” (email) them. Do the same for the local stores. Get your friends to do the same. This isn’t rocket science.

        Remember the fundamental rule: “One disgruntled customer = ten lost sales.”

    • I see Paul T. McCain is channeling his inner irate keyboard warrior.

      Seriously, we will never win the culture war until guns are normal, seen every day things like they were before GCA 68 in most of the country. At least gun cases.

        • RF announced Paul’s departure a week or two ago, over what Paul took to be the site’s anti-police bias.

    • Yes please stop! My access to warm baked delights is being inconvenienced by people exercising their constitutional rights!!!

    • I don’t encourage handgun open carry in Texas unless you’re looking for a conviction. I have no choice but to carry a long gun if I choose open carry. I much prefer open carry. Only criminals should feel the need to conceal.

  6. Darn. I really enjoyed their sandwiches and pastries; but, I will not spend my hard earned money there anymore. Furthermore, I will let them know as well.

  7. I’ve been to Panera a few times. I thought tn EZ hey were mediocre at best and way too much $. I’ll stick to Dunkin Donuts( unless they want me disarmed.EZ choice…

    • It is kind of expensive.

      What Panera has going for it is twofold:

      1. There are usually cute girls working there
      2. There aren’t a lot of other even semi-healthy places to eat that don’t take too long

      • If you want to eat at Panera, there are three things you must not forget:

        1.) Your Volvo
        2.) Those really small, squared eyeglasses (remember your librarian?)
        3.) Your Barnes&Noble shopping bag.

        ADDENDUM: Don’t forget your tablet and a turtleneck for some added service 🙂

        • I was not aware that having glasses, driving German cars, or reading were all mockable offenses…

          Maybe there might be something to the antis’ claim that all POTG are stupid rednecks. 😉

          Nah. I don’t buy into stereotypes. Theirs either.

        • @TheBear:

          Antis like to criticize us all the time. They lump us all together in ways I don’t care to describe in detail.

          I return the favor when possible, Kind Sir.

          And Volvos are “Swedish” cars (now owned by the Chinese Company, Geely… unfortunately).

        • Volvo’s are Swedish, but you’re right. Personally, I drive a BMW with a “Come and take it” TX license plate.

        • Hey Bear, I ride a ten year old Italian SCOOTER (NOT a Vespa, FYI), and my American truck occasionally. I like the idea of 60+mpg cruising at 80 mph. Ride safe.

          Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion, already in progress.

      • 2. There aren’t a lot of other even semi-healthy places to eat that don’t take too long

        Bread is one of the least healthy things that a human being can eat.

        • No kidding. Bread is probably the most responsible for obesity and heart disease in America. Skip grains and sugar and you will slim down, feel better and be much healthier

        • Yup. I completely agree.

          I’ve eliminated bread and lots of bread-like stuff from my diet for the last four months. No bread, no donuts, no pastries, no pancakes, no french toast, you name it.

          Haven’t changed anything else – how much food I eat, how frequently I eat, etc. The results are quite positive.

  8. Easy way to respond. Get 30 of your best buddies together. Have printed cards that say no 2A rights no money. there are cards out there for download and print. Now head on over to Panera, and hand them to the Manager in mass. If enough groups do this, well.. It speaks for itself. Personally I prefer other places for sandwiches, which has nothing at all to do with 2A. That is just me though.

  9. Panera Bread, frankly, sucks. I can name numerous places that are better for coffee or sandwiches or soup.

    But hey, at least it’s good to know where NOT to spend my money!

  10. Ahhh dam!

    Now where am I supposed to get an $8.xx sandwich and a $9.xx salad?

    All seriousness, though- they’ve got a damned good French Onion Soup in a bread bowl. But how often does one go out specifically for soup, anyway?

    Oh well. Clam Chowder out of the can, it is.

    • Or realism? Generalizations aren’t always incorrect, and can actually be helpful when not insulting. I don’t see how this statement was in any way demeaning, unless you are suggesting that there is something wrong about a mother that does the shopping? And that would actually make YOU the sexist one.

      • There’s nothing wrong with either gender doing the shopping, the home repairs, or any other task. That’s the point. That part of Shannon’s statement is demeaning to men. Sure, it’s mild. But since Shannon is so quick to pull the sexism card, she shouldn’t get a pass on it.

  11. I’ve always suspected that there’s something wrong with a fast food place where you can’t order a cheeseburger. This just confirms that suspicion.

    In other news, every time I read a Shannon Watts quote, my brain hears the words in the voice of Kyle’s mom from South Park…

  12. “Panera Warmth”

    Would that be a reference to the warmth of the blood of innocent, helpless people on their floor??

  13. If you like fe fe food at top prices and leave hungry, have at it. Ill take a real old world mom a pop bakery any day. Over priced commercial strip mall shit hole.

  14. As someone who only set foot inside a Panera because I worked at one (the worst, and most underpaid job I’ve ever had), let me tell you this affects no one. The only people who eat at Panera are yuppies who think nothing of their $10 sandwiches, $2 fountain drinks, and $5 coffee. Not the type to wear a gun on them anyway.

    • have one right around the corner from me. . . spousal unit often has me stop there to grab her one of those overpriced salads after church on Sundays (we drive separate since I am a trustee and often have to stay later). . . the cashier has seen my glock many a time (when getting my wallet out) even with a suit jacket covering it. Never a problem but I can tell for my neighborhood (very conservative upper middle class), no one would care if they did see it

  15. I’m not a fan of these kinds of places to begin with. Panera, Chipotle, Pei-Wei, etc. bill themselves as “fast casual” concepts. I just call them fru-fru fast food: same old microwaved from frozen crap, absent the clown shoes decor, all at a much higher price. I prefer a real restaurant, if I’m going to do all that.

    Now, for legitimate fast food, with no pretenses or excuses, you can’t beat Waffle House. No idea what their policy is on firearms, though, as it’s never come up.

    • Jon, the “ladies” serving at your local Waffle House are probably packing SCCY’s and Hi-Points. 🙂

      Minus the cook. His parole officer won’t allow that.

      Zing!

    • Brad: “You got your sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, secret sauce …”

      Guy: “What’s the secret sauce?”

      Brad: “Thousand island dressing. What’s the secret sauce at Bronco Burger?”

      Guy: “Ketchup and mayonnaise.”

  16. I don’t think Panera really caved. Or that MDA can really claim this as a victory. Not that I’ve ever been to a Panera or that I plan on going. But I would carry there just the same. They may as well ask if I would like fries with that. It seems more like a token gesture to get MDA off their backs without pissing off the pro gunners.

    • The article I read (CNN) claims that Panera approached MDA and not the other way around (which is why Shannon said “proactive” in the quote).

      • Why would Panera approach MDA? They can make any kind of rules they want without MDA. They aren’t banning guns, they aren’t putting up signage, they aren’t asking people to leave. Makes no sense for them to approach MDA. Why?

        • Now this is interesting. As I said above, this seems to have come out of the blue. Maybe posters above are correct, it’s a PC yuppie kind of place to start with and they are needing some publicity to gin up some interest from their “base”. I did see an unrelated (?) headline to the effect that a lot of these yuppie gouts are getting desperate for customers and are trying all kinds of wacky schemes.

        • Well, I screwed my courage to the sticking-place and read the HuffPo article. Looks like Erika and Shannon are reading off the same card again with that “moms are the consumers” biz. Also, looks like at least one of the commenters takes the same track I just did–Panera needs some PR, they don’t cater to gun-toters in the first place, this is a publicity stunt to appeal to their usual target customer base. At least I’m not alone out here in left field…

        • Free PR. And to get the Hipsters, Yuppies and Soccer Moms all a-twitter feeling warm and fuzzy about releasing a “business as usual” non-statement.

          And also probably to get the Demanding Moms out of their corporate face, just like their quasi-competitor Starbucks.

          Sheep.

        • FYI, I just watched the HuffPo article disappear from its prominent place at 4:30-ish.

          They’re still keeping the surrounding items (Paul Krugman hyperventilating, Royal Baby #2, Great Dane Throws A Tantrum Better Than A Toddler, etc.) intact. Good to know responsible journalism is still alive.

      • And we all know CNN always gets it right.

        Why would it be necessary for “months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action” if Panera approached “Moms” to discourage patrons’ bringing guns into their establishments. If Panera wanted to initiate the policy, what’s to discuss?

        More likely Panera was being prodded by Moms, and CNN’s reputation remains intact.

        • or. . . . MDA approached Panera (with some usual whining), Panera tried a Heisman move that didn’t stop them so they looked around, saw the approach other places took (pls don’t bring your guns, but we won’t ban them and will follow local laws), and decided they found the secret sauce to make Droopy Eyes go away. . .

  17. My kids like it, but now it becomes a civics lesson for them. We will no longer go there. Their food is overpriced and over caloric.

    As for saying law enforcement only, what if I am a PI? Security Guard with weapon on my way to work?

  18. I generally don’t eat a lot of carbs so the bread and baked goods fest that is panera holds no interest to me for a quick meal. If i do really want quality baked goods on occasion, I pick someplace way better than panera.

  19. I will definitely leave my gun outside Panera, but since it’s on me at all times, I’ll be staying out of there with it. I think I’ll just go to a Kroger and buy a salad or sandwich there, cheaper, better for you and not served with a side of cow towing to demanding cows.

  20. Ain’t been there in years. Wife dislikes processed foods and I dislike spending ten dollars or more a sandwich. So, no loss here.

  21. From the CNBC story:

    “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 said. “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.”

    When asked about potential alienation due to the request, Shaich said the chain’s customer base hold a wide spectrum of opinions.

    “I think at its core people get the request to make this an everyday oasis and not make this a battleground for political opinion,” he added.

    So on the surface, at least, it goes along with the idea of most of these releases simply being about keeping politics out of their stores.

    On the other hand…

    What I find suspicious is that this time, the statement is proactive and not in response to any open carry demonstrations. The other thing that is suspicious is that the timing is mighty convenient with respect to the response MDA got from Kroger. If I didn’t know better, I think someone might be trying to help them save face.

  22. I don’t eat at a place after getting food poisoning. One time & 4 people got sick. This is just another reason not to go.

  23. Two other thoughts…

    1. So this means we can still carry at St. Louis Bread Company? /sarc

    2. To those who say they wouldn’t pay $10 for a sandwich, there are certainly sandwiches worth that price. It’s a matter of Bread Co.’s being overpriced for what you get.

  24. The clue comes from Mrs. Watts herself as to why we should not support Panera; there were “months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action”. MDA didn’t have to resort to Twitter hashtags, or the typical emotive driven pictures that are low on facts. Panera accommodated the group, cooperated with the group, and then capitulated to their demands.

  25. Until they make it legal by posting a sign on the door I will continue to conceal carry there. The same goes for Target, Chipotle, or any other organization that relies on media blasts rather than legal postings.

    • even if they post a sign . . . if it is still legal, screw ’em. I have carried into plenty of places with signs up. no legal effect. my kids (9 and 6) laugh at anti-gun signs b/c they know the family secret. In fact, my 9 yr old came in while I was watching the video. SHe asked what it was, read it was Panera, and then asked how come no one there had a gun to shoot the gunman. When I explained the new policy, not only did she say that was dumb but that criminals won’t obey laws. . . . . Yeah MDA – even a child can see this is stupid.

      While I don’t wish evil upon anyone (well, ok, just a few), I would love for one of the MDA members to get caught up in gun free zone they created, live to tell about it, and have their ROad to Damascus conversion over to the NRA, SAF, or other pro-gun group . . . . ahh, dreams.

  26. “Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families’ safety.” And she complains about sexist remarks from us. How is it that only moms can be consumers-in-chief. What about us dads.

    Hypocrites … the whole lot of them.

  27. Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth. This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. 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.

    Well it’s clear Panera feels only Cops need to be able to defend themselves. The rest of us are undeserving I guess. “Panera Warmth,” as I will call it from this day forward, is not going to make me “feel” any better. More cop carveouts. So an off duty cop wearing a pair of shorts and a tee can come in with his gun open carrying, but a regular joe wearing a pair of shorts and a tee cannot come in concealed carrying. So I don’t see the logic here and how regular joe concealed carrying is upseting the “Panera Warmth” but an LEO open carrying does not. As far as I am concerned no one is going to know if I am carrying or not and as long as the sign isn’t on the door – i’m going to carry if I want to.

    PANERA WARMTH PEOPLE! PANERA WARMTH!

  28. Oh ok Panera, I guess I’ll do that…if your rule had ANY force of law behind it in Florida. Since it doesn’t, then when I go into your business, my gun will be with me, in my pocket, as it always is. I’m not here to rob you or cause any trouble, I just want to pay for some food and eat it. It’s gonna stay in my pocket unless some crackhead decides to rob your register or, hell, me at some point in my commute which includes places that aren’t in your business. If you think that is a problem then I will do you the favor of never giving you my business ever again. I don’t feel that I should have to change how I go about my day, how I ensure my personal safety to appease you sense of security.

    • “if your rule had ANY force of law behind it in Florida.”

      I’m not sure if their rule has any force behind it anywhere. They have a bit of a notification problem. What percentage of their customer base heard the announcement today?

      That’s why these dumb requests are just that…dumb. Symbolism over substance.

      To make it binding at all, they have to post it, at least in my state and many others. And that is something none of these businesses have done.

  29. “”We demand that businesses act to protect their customers when lawmakers do not,” said Erika Soto Lamb, a spokeswoman for Everytown For Gun Safety, an umbrella group that includes Moms Demand Action.”

    So does this mean that Everytown now supports amending premise liability laws to make business owners expressly liable for failing to protect customers (ie, provide armed guards and metal detectors)? Ok – let’s play that game and see how it works out

  30. Skip the over priced retail chains and buy local, better yet brown bag it, you’ll save enough to buy that Tavor and ammo you need/want

  31. When Pookie and Ray-Ray stick a gun in your face and said they gotta get paid, do you think that’s the warm and welcoming feeling that Panera is going for?

    • The “warmth” you will be feeling after that is your pee soaked underwear or your own blood leaving your body after being shot.

  32. There bagels are a joke, anyone that’s had a real bagel knows this. I’ll continue not to eat there. Fuck them and their food-like products.

  33. I think Panera is wimping out by giving in to the gun haters. But, why not just carry concealed and not worry about the policies? What they don’t know won’t hurt them and you have what you need if you need it. Worst they could do it kick you out if they found out, right? And if they never find out then who cares?

  34. I don’t go to Panera because I generally don’t eat bread, and their coffee sucks. But just like with the other establishments with milquetoast, non-binding “polite requests”, my decision to patronize or not will not be impacted by said “request.”

  35. Id like to say that’s OK with me, as it seems kind of FUDDish of me.
    But truth be told with their menu offerings.
    You wont catch me in any of their restaurants.
    Really guys, apple and raisins in my chicken salad???
    Gimme a freggin break.

  36. My wifes company prohibits employee carry, serious joke since I know a few dozen are CCW including a regional manager. They asked for a discount on the class if they got 20 +
    to take it. As a number have been robbed or assaulted in the parking lot gave it to them. The local panera has had 8 robberies within 50ft of the front door at 1 point the other stores in the strip center hired security.

    It’s also where 50% of the will work for food crowd hang out when they aren’t at wal-marts parking lot.

  37. “BREAKING: Panera Asks Customers To Leave Their Guns At Home”

    Sure I will. Just as soon as Potential Store Robbers get that memo and decide to comply.

    Fat chance.
    I just went to a local PB the other day, ARMED.
    I didn’t see any signage, yet.

  38. “Panera does NOT respect the rights of gun owners, by asking their customers to help preserve the gun free zone environment they are working to create for their guests and politically-driven associates to ensure criminals are safe in the event they choose to commit a crime on the premises. For the children.”

    Fixed.

  39. This blows. Panera is my first stop after a day at the range. What a bunch of cowards bending to the stupidity of MDA. Sorry Shannon, you didn’t make anyone safer. Quite the opposite.

  40. Plain and simple, no more Panera. They exercise their right to ban guns and I exercise my right to stay away from a bunch of simpleton anti-Americans.

  41. Last I checked 77% against Panara’s decision, and wow the comments section is literally blowing up in their faces.

  42. “Panera is not banning legally carried firearms from its stores (as they have a legal right to do). ”

    depends on your location. Colorado, it ISN’T their right. They have the right to ask you to leave if they see/notice/care that you have a firearm. If you fight it, you get a trespassing ticket and police escort from the premisis… Why you would stick around that long I’m not sure.

    Otherwise, they are open to the public, they do not get to discriminate based on life choices.

  43. I have my CCW since about 1987. The first “C” in CCW is concealed. Just remember that and guess what problem solved! Businesses can post what they want if they don’t see it it never happened.

    Finally, both Panera and the open carry assholes suck.

    • “the open carry assholes suck.”

      So, you are happy to let the MDA crowd divide the People of the Gun into smaller, bite size pieces?

      It’s bad enough we have Fudd’s vs others. Now it’s anti-OC?

      Divide and conquer is a thing. It merits remembering that. What evidence do you have that if all OC and OC activism went away that somehow, magically, Shannon and her minions would just say, “Okay, we got what we want. It was really about OC the whole time.” (They would not).

      Finally, you have no evidence whatsoever this has anything to do with OC…so good job for throwing MDA a bone they did not even have to earn themselves.

      • True, this has nothing to do with the small minority of open carriers who behave like idiots. But they’re still idiots. For some reason, you refuse to acknowledge this. He’s carrying a gun, I must defend him, it would be treason not to. Honestly, what the hell kind of logic is that?

        “So, you are happy to let the MDA crowd divide the People of the Gun into smaller, bite size pieces? ”

        I personally am unhappy at a small minority of open carriers who do very stupid things… and with those who insist that any criticism of the people who are in fact helping the enemy generate bad publicity, is somehow a betrayal of the cause.

        Sometimes people who think they are on your side, are scoring own goals and need to be called on it. You just enable their jackwagon antics by sticking up for them no matter how asinine their behavior.

        Just because a guy is open carrying, does not mean you need to blindly, slavishly defend him no matter how stupidly he might act.

        Honestly, John, short of an ND is there anything a gun carrier (either open or concealed, makes no nevermind, really) could do, where you would be willing to say “that was just…dumb, and didn’t help the cause”?

        • I think you and I have a good back-n-forth going on this. I sincerely appreciate this level discussion. So, before I reply…thanks.

          I’ll hit some high spots, point by point.

          True, this has nothing to do with the small minority of open carriers who behave like idiots.

          This is a very important distinction. If it does not have anything to do with “the idiots,” why bring them up? Why is the first place so many go is “thanks OC idiots!”

          They’ve become a scapegoat for everything MDA does, and very importantly, that MDA would do anyway.

          This, in my view, is a real problem. MDA (and their ilk) have successfully created a psychology among us that there are “bad guy People of the Gun.” There are a lot of problems with this…a LOT of problems with it.

          Where does it end? Do we also blame OC activists for all new gun legislation? Because, well, they do bring gun issues into the news and they don’t dress “appropriately” and what not, so….I mean, why not?

          That’s the problem with scapegoats. They are easy to blame for everything, and the reality is, rarely (if ever) are they really the cause of anything.

          But they’re still idiots. For some reason, you refuse to acknowledge this.

          I don’t refuse to acknowledge that you think that. It’s certainly a subjective opinion. Or…at the risk of being a bit of a jerk about it…have you actually measured their IQ and found it to be below the “idiot” threshold?

          The truest statement we can make is that they are doing something you and others don’t like. THAT ALONE does not make them “idiots.” But, see how easy the language is used to manipulate and alienate members of our own group?

          The thing is, I’m trying to think about this in a big picture way…down the road. I’ve seen the Progs manipulate language, use scapegoats and execute fine grained incrementalism in a number of arenas for over four decades. They are repeating a tried, and apparently effective, pattern.

          This will not stop with OC. As I said above, first it was Fudds. Now it’s OC, or, if you like, long gun OC. What’s next? Do you really think these guys have this much power over our culture?

          I don’t. But, I think MDA has successfully created the illusion that they do. And…that’s all MDA has is illusion. Their illusions only work if people willingly buy into them. Whether that illusion is that guns are icky and all gun owners are violent, psychopathic misogynist men or that OC activists exercising First and Second Amendment Rights to try to get a law changed are idiots it does not matter.

          He’s carrying a gun, I must defend him, it would be treason not to. Honestly, what the hell kind of logic is that?

          Well, obviously, I don’t do that. But, let’s dissect what the OC-ers have done that has gotten them all this hate:

          Mode of dress

          Body Type

          Posing for pictures in “operator” poses. Not my thing, but at the end of the day, harmless. Posing for a picture with figure on the trigger guard (not IN the guard) is not my idea of a good idea, but a posed picture is VERY different from “behavior.” Some among us cannot make that distinction.

          In point of fact, they have not pointed firearms at anyone or acted dangerous in any way. They carried a gun in a manner that was legal to do so and that’s their big crime.

          We’ve had folks here say stuff like, “If I see you with an AR in Home Depot, I’m going to assume you are up to no good and open fire on you to defend my family.” Personally, I think that is kind of idiotic…and not realistic threat assessment. That falls into “the gun = the bad” thinking the grabbers have been trying to program for 20+ years.

          Everyone is saying “but, but, but” and that’s exactly what MDA/Bloomberg WANT us to do to each other. They want us alienating our own members. They want to control where the line of “acceptable” is, and they are, to some degree, doing just that.

          helping the enemy generate bad publicity, is somehow a betrayal of the cause.

          I am saying that they are NOT helping the enemy generate bad publicity because the enemy will do that anyway.

          This is the group that has photoshopped pictures for their propaganda. They constantly post misleading or out-of-context pictures. They are not dependent on us to hand them ‘ammo;’ they make it up if they have to. They lie.

          Further, where’s the line? Someone takes a picture of me teaching one of my children to shoot at the range and MDA gets a hold of it…am I then an “idiot,” too, just because MDA used it in some way?

          In short, we are not responsible for what they do. What ‘ammo’ we hand them or not is, quite frankly, immaterial. There was no shortage of gun control pressure before OCT and OCTC hit the limelight.

          Giving them this power is defeatist. Or, at least it will ultimately lead down that slippery slope. We have to draw our lines somewhere and say, “ya’ll ain’t getting away with this.”

          Why NOT let that line be “Shall Not Be Infringed?” What is gained on our side by joining their chorus and calling them “idiots?” That sort of thing only empowers MDA to keep on pushing. “Well, we’ve got other gun owners calling them idiots…they must be idiots.”

          Sometimes people who think they are on your side, are scoring own goals and need to be called on it. You just enable their jackwagon antics by sticking up for them no matter how asinine their behavior.

          Sure, that’s true. One big problem is that the line that defines this is subjective.

          I can admire what OCT is doing. They are working to get the laws in their state changed. It seems like they are succeeding in that…time will tell. That’s their goal.

          For every person that says, “Yabut, they are hurting things in MY state,” I would ask: “What are you doing in your own state to protect your rights?” It’s easy to sit back and lay all the blame on OCT (or other) while doing nothing. At least they are doing, and their doing seems to moving things the right way in Texas.

          Just because a guy is open carrying, does not mean you need to blindly, slavishly defend him no matter how stupidly he might act.

          And, I wouldn’t.

          Honestly, John, short of an ND is there anything a gun carrier (either open or concealed, makes no nevermind, really) could do, where you would be willing to say “that was just…dumb, and didn’t help the cause”?

          Sure there is. Believe it or not, I’m not a sycophant.

          A good example would be what I might call “tough guy brandishing,” the kind of thing that those anti’s say we would ALL do: brandishing in a minor argument to be the tough guy.

          There are a lot of stories on here of bad gun behavior that “blacks our eye” and simply make me cringe and I say to myself, “Why?” So…yeah. It does not have to be an ND.

          And that’s a big part of my point. Several of my points, actually, but I’ll stick to the main one. You and I and that guy over there have different lines that constitute “dumb” or “idiotic.” Ask 10 guys their thoughts on OC, and you will get ten different answers.

          For example…the OCTC discussion as shown an obvious moving target. Some say, “keep it slung and don’t tough it.” Others have said, “leave the long guns at home.” Still others say, “No OC at all, even handguns.” Keep pushing the question, and someone will say “No, CC either, guns are for home defense.” Then we get to “Guns are for hunting only.” And finally…”no guns at all.”

          That’s the problem with liberty. Liberty is hard. It means letting the other guy do. It means finding a baseline that imposes, or oppresses, or, dare I say it, infringes, the least.

          OCTC is not hurting my rights. You disagree, and we can continue to back-n-forth it. But my assertion is based on the fact that I have not lost the right to carry my firearm anywhere due to them. Add to that the fact that they are engaged in peaceful protest to seek redress of a grievance (a dumb law) and I can, and do, support them.

          If someone DID try to impose some gun control in my state, whether instigated by OCTC or not, it would be up to me and my fellow gun owners to fight it. Sitting back blaming duded in Texas with “oh, woe is me, we are losing gun rights” is empty words and inaction. This is an important distinction to me because people are ALWAYS trying to impose controls that have to be fought…OCTC is not the fundamental cause of Statism.

          And finally, for completeness, I want to add: when I FIRST read about these stories, I had the exact same emotional response that so many have. “That’s just stupid. That’s wrong. They are harming the cause.”

          It’s not sycophantic following that leads me to support them and speak against POTG criticizing them. I came to my present conclusions after an awful lot of very careful deliberation and consideration as well as some research and study.

          Hope that clarifies. Peace out, man. I should be in CO in a couple months for a short visit, and I hope to visit that restaurant in Rifle.

  44. I went once to Panera, long while back, to check it out and was thoroughly disappointed with their prices & food. Never returned.
    IMO, Panera is overhyped overpriced crap. I can get better and sometimes cheaper food at a REAL bakery or a REAL deli, and they don’t bat an eye if they see me conceal (sort of) carry.

  45. Thoughts:

    1. It has been suggested numerous times in this space that only hipsters, soccer moms, tree huggers, and liberals frequent Panera. I am a married white middle-aged libertarian with a corporate job and I eat there multiple times a week. When I go to any of their locations I see a lot of families, FWIW.

    2. Panera really does give you great bang for your buck if you are looking for quick, healthy food. I have lost nearly 100 pounds in the last 10 months while working long hours and Panera salads have been a big contributor.

    3. I have cc’d every time I have been in a Panera for as long as I have had my CHL, and that’s not going to change.

    4. As much as I would like to boycott these jerks, doing so is becoming increasingly difficult as I frequent Panera and Target a lot.

    5. New plan: I pretty much never wear pro 2A or gun clothing, because opsec, but tomorrow I am going to the nearest Gander Mountain and buying out their pro 2A apparel stock. I will be sure to cover myself head-to-toe every time I visit a Panera, Target, etc.

    6. When I have other shopping options I will use them, i.e. if I just need a cup of coffee it will be Tim Hortons, if I can get what I need at Wal-Mart I will do so, etc.

    7. I plan to write an email a day to Panera and Target in particular for the rest of my natural life.

    Thoughts?

    • I like the idea. Personally I have thought about doing the same thing, I normally like to fly under the radar, but I am liking the idea of getting some cards made up, just handing them to the person taking the order and walking out.

    • Good idea. Make it visual and normal to support the 2A. Fair warning, leftists and anti-2A types are violently unstable and you’ll no doubt get some angry psychopath up in your face now and then about your clothing.

      When they give you grief about your clothing, just say you’re expressing what you support. Then pull a swastika armband from your pocket, hand it to them, and suggest that they express what they support also.

      • Then pull a swastika armband from your pocket, hand it to them, and suggest that they express what they support also.

        Excellent!

        Just finished watching the documentary “Nazis: Warning From History” and man there were some scary parallels to contemporary times.

  46. Follow the CNBC link in the article. Vote in the poll. It’s setting at 82% against Panera’s decision, 13% supporting

  47. They can “request” all they want, I and everyone else will still carry. Watts and the antis are gonna get a lesson on how well “requests” actually work (ie, Gun Free Zone signs).

    This isn’t a victory for anyone. The official policy has literally not changed at all. The only thing Panera’s done is drive away pissed off gun owners. Those who carried will still carry, and the MDA sub-humans who frequent these overpriced establishments would have continued to do so regardless, because their fanaticism for their cause is not rooted in true belief or just cause, but crippling insecurity. The concept of sacrificing for a cause is foreign to them.

  48. Dear Panera,

    I love your food (especially your Smoked Turkey sandwich), your staff and your and your social consciousness. However your recent decision to request we not legally carry firearms into your stores is a slap on the face to all Americans and the 2nd Amendment. I was a frequent visitor but will take my business elsewhere. If sometime in the future you decide to retract your statement and issue an apology to all Americans for this mistake I will gladly return.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    • I’m very sorry to hear you disagree with our policy. Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth, which means, among other things, creating bakery-cafe environments where customers and associates feel comfortable. Panera Bread respects the rights of gun owners, but we do believe asking that customers not bring their firearms inside our bakery-cafes is consistent with the bakery-cafe environment we are attempting to create.
      Thank you for taking the time to write to us and share your comments.
      Sincerely,
      Panera Bread

  49. The way I see it, there is no 30-06 sign and if you are a concealed carry then no one will ever know. And if there arises an issue while you are there they will thank you later. They are requesting not demanding.

  50. A repeat, but please, let them hear it:

    https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/customer-service/contact-us.html#contact

    An excerpt from mine:

    “What you need to understand is that opinions on armed self defense aren’t stratified by “right vs left” politics. Rather, the opinions are stratified by social class. The middle class on down values their right to armed self-defense because we live and work in places where it is necessary, because when bad things happen, they happen to us. We don’t have the protection and isolation from the rest of society that the upper class has, and frankly, we’re on our own. Blue collar democrats strongly value their right to armed self-defense. Middle class social liberals value their right to self-defense. Most conservatives value their right to self-defense. These political identities combined are the vast majority of America, and this is the real reason why the right to armed self-defense is upheld and expanding. It has nothing to do with interest groups, money, or marketing, it has everything to do with votes and popularity.

    We are also your customer base. Why have you chosen to make a political statement against us? Unlike MDA, I am not out to take advantage of you for a political cause, so I’m not asking you to make a political statement in support of us, only that you remain respectfully agnostic.”

  51. I just left this comment at Panera’s corporate website:

    Sirs:

    I just read that Panera Bread has decided to create defenseless victim zones at your places of business. Unless you are providing private armed security at all your locations, don’t expect to see me in your stores again. I value my life too much to risk being in Panera Bread when a criminal decides to take advantage of your warm welcome.

    “Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth. This warmth means bakery-cafes where customers and associates feel comfortable and welcome. To this end, we ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer. 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.”

    Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America [via cnbc.com]

    “We are thrilled that after months of discussions between Panera and Moms Demand Action, Panera is taking a proactive position in favor of our families’ safety by putting a new gun policy in place. Moms are the consumers-in-chief of our households and we will reward companies that take a stand for our families’ safety. We urge other national companies follow suit.”

    That you appear to have surrendered to MDA in making this change shows a distinct lack of courage and business sense. Further you seem to think you can split it down the middle by not officially putting up “No Guns Allowed” signs, but are asking your customers to be defenseless anyway. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Panera Bread like MDA is attacking the wrong problem in the wrong way. You should be welcoming armed law abiding citizens into your stores since they provide you with free security and are not a threat or danger to anyone except criminals who try to harm them. Instead, you are telling these good responsible people to disarm and feel safer which is delusional. How will you live with yourself when a criminal attacks your employees and customers with impunity because they know everyone in your stores is disarmed by company policy. Its just not worth it. I guess time will tell if you have more MDA customers or more customers who value their lives and take their security seriously.

    Sincerely,

    Marshall Thompson

    Former Panera Bread Customer

  52. When I hear about “Panera warmth” I think back to the last time my four-year-old daughter caught the norovirus. She had a pantload of “Panera warmth” going on. Great marketing strategy.

  53. I like the wording in the article of MDA: “On one side of the debate over guns in stores is a Michael Bloomberg-funded women’s group…”

  54. I and most of the people that I know have a CHL (concealed handgun license). Unless Panera posts a 30.06 sign on the doors of their stores in Texas, we just laugh at their “request” and walk right in with our concealed handguns. We do the same at Starbucks, Target and Chipotle. The “Moms” group think they are so clever but in reality, nothing has changed. We are all still shopping and dining in these establishments while being armed. The whole thing is a joke. The only thing that these establishments have accomplished is to piss a bunch of law abiding citizens off while trying to please a bunch of whiney women. Frankly, if I am able to choose another establishment over the ones that asked for me to leave my gun at home, I do. They have all lost money from me. I hope it was worth it to them.

    • That’s not quite true. The law or official policy has not changed, but then again that is not MDA’s objective. All Watts really wants is the statement from these companies. If they get the statement, then they have the ability to give the perception that something has changed.

      MDA, Bloomberg, et. al. are playing a long game. In that kind of game, all they need for now is perception. Given time, perception will define the reality and hopefully not provide their opposition an opportunity to effectively respond.

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