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open gun carry

A handgun with a side of fries

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In the February issue, editor Michael Sanson wrote about a new Texas law that allows licensed individuals to openly carry firearms in most places, including restaurants, unless restaurants post signs prohibiting guns. He pointed out that the sight of people with guns on their hips would be unappetizing to him and asked how others deal with the issue of guns in restaurants. Here are excerpts from some of the responses. 

I carry every day, every shift. Several of our employees carry as well. We encourage both hourly employees and managers to carry concealed firearms. I am an NRA-certified instructor and have taught the course required to obtain a conceal permit license. The local population certainly knows that Breakers is a pro-gun establishment. We have never been held up or had a violent incident occur here. The knowledge that we are pro-gun is certainly a deterrent to any would-be assailants. A firearm is a special-purpose tool, nothing more, nothing less, and is only used as a tool of last resort.  

Kevin Griffin
General Manager
Breakers, More Than Just a Bar!
Topinabee, MI

I run a restaurant in Northern Vermont. It’s rural and boy do they love their hunting rifles up here! They even have their children blowing away our furry and feathered friends, which is fine. However, just recently I’ve had a customer who has been coming in packing heat. It makes the staff and customers anxious. Even more unnerving was that when I looked around at the clientele this man was surrounded by, it was merely a bunch of little old ladies eating quiche. Does he feel unsafe? Just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean that you ought to. Leave the guns in the car.

Alan Schroeder
General Manager
Vermont Pie and Pasta Company 
Derby, VT

One night I had a fellow walk in the restaurant with a buck knife on his belt. Sorry, sir, you must check that at the bar or put it in your truck. Says who? Says the guy with the gun. Remember, you never bring a knife to a gunfight! This is a true story. He gave the knife to the bartender and I bought him a beer. In Massachusetts you can have a concealed permit to carry, but no open carry. I have a license to carry concealed, but I don’t always carry. I don’t like guns. 

How would you like to be out for dinner with your family and have some nut walk in and start firing at everyone and you can’t protect your wife or child?  When I am at work, my customers are my responsibility. Who do you think the lawyers would come after if I failed to protect my customer?

Bob McGovern
Northampton, MA

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