Panera Bread on Monday became the latest company to ask law-abiding gun owners to not bring weapons into its stores, joining other high profile chains like Chipotle, Starbucks and Target.
“Within our company, we strive to create Panera Warmth,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
Panera Bread is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., but has over 2,000 locations nationwide. Panera’s 10 Alabama locations include two stores in both Birmingham and Montgomery, as well as shops in Alabaster, Auburn, Hoover, Prattville, Tuscaloosa and Vestavia Hills (See map below).
(Update: there are also Panera locations in both north and south Alabama that don’t show up on their website, for some reason.)
Anti-gun groups backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have claimed victories in several other chain gun bans, including Panera Bread’s this week.
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, one of the aforementioned groups, said Monday’s announcement was the result of “months of discussion between Panera and Moms Demand Action.” She also said the group has launched a six-figure ad campaign targeting Kroger, which has several stores in East Alabama and owns the Tom Thumb convenience stores that dot the state.
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