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Subway Must Act: It’s Time To End The Dangerous Practice Of Open Carry In Subway Restaurants

May 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America released the following statement after media reported this weekend that a dozen people walked through downtown Raleigh Saturday afternoon with weapons and flags on the first full day of North Carolina’s Phase 1 — when some coronavirus-related restrictions have been loosened.

In 2016, a Subway spokesperson said the sandwich company doesn’t have a policy prohibiting open carry of firearms in all of its locations, noting, “We require franchisees to follow all local, state and federal laws.” However, Subway — like Panera BreadBuffalo Wild Wings, and other franchise establishments — has the authority to request its franchisees to prohibit open carry. Guns Down America is calling on the company to do just that.

According to an analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive, Subway has experienced at least 65 incidents of gun violence in or near its restaurants nationwide since 2014, resulting in 21 deaths and 28 injuries. In late March of 2020, an individual fired his gun at a police officer near a Subway restaurant in Carencro, Louisiana and told police he was infected with the Coronavirus.

“Many large American retail companies have established clear policies that urge customers to leave their firearms at home,” said Igor Volsky, co-founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America. “The last thing customers and employees want to worry about during these difficult and stressful times is armed intimidation. Subway prides itself on providing their workers with a safe and healthy work environment and it must live up to that commitment by prohibiting open carry in all of its stores.”

The protesters are seen in photos ordering sandwiches from Subway on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh. One is carrying an AT4 rocket launcher, with a sticker saying “insert” on it, slung over his back. The man also has two pistols in holsters on his waist.

Research has consistently found that the presence of a visible firearm makes people more aggressive, transforming mere disagreements into violent, and potentially deadly, confrontations.

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Guns Down America is a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America, and for making them dramatically harder to get.