The massacre that happened last Friday, May 23 in Santa Barbara has brought back the controversial subject of firearms access in the United States; however, since three weeks ago, groups in favor of firearms possession have protested in restaurants in Dallas, Austin and Forth Worth, Texas, carrying firearms in plain daylight and in public places.
These groups, "Open Carry Texas", "Texas Carry", and "Come and Get It Texas", have entered many Texas restaurants openly carrying assault rifles and handguns, under the argument that they are simply exercising their constitutional rights.
This controversial strategy, however, did not have the success they hoped for. Chili's and Sonic are the most recent companies who have decided to ban clients from entering their establishments while carrying firearms.
According to KERA News, Chili's parent company, based in Dallas, reported that they're revising their firearms policy inside their restaurants.
This announcement comes after a video was uploaded to YouTube, which shows an armed group of men in a restaurant of the company in San Antonio. The video shows the moment in which the men ask for food to eat in the restaurant, and after a few seconds, a worker asks them to leave.
A few days before, five national restaurant chains (Starbucks, Wendy's, Applebees, Jack in the Box and Chipotle Mexican Grill) emitted press releases in which they requested their clients to not enter their establishments while carrying firearms, according to The Huffington Post.
Pressure has grown considerably in social networks and through sectors of the civil population, who have requested restaurants to do something about it through letters.
Last Friday, hours before the tragic shooting in Santa Barbara, Chipotle Mexican Grill responded to the petition from "Moms Demand Action", a group that gathered over 10,000 signatures in less than 48 hours to ask the company to ban access to their restaurants to people carrying firearms, according to Reuters.
"The matter of ownership and firearm rights has become one of the most controversial debates in the country. Chipotle had never adopted a position on the subject, since we're focusing on our mission to change the way you think about fast food," said the restaurant chain, according to Reuters.
"Recently, those participating in an 'open carry' protest in Texas, entered one of our restaurants with firearms (including military style assault rifles), causing anxiety and annoyance among clients. Due to this, we respectfully ask clients to not bring firearms to our restaurants, unless they are authorized members of the police," said the company.