I went out to lunch today, planning on visiting a restaurant I haven’t been to in a while, Thunder Canyon Brewery. I don’t drink, but they’ve got pretty decent burgers.
I was stopped by the sign on the door informing me that handguns were not welcome inside, pursuant to the passage of a law that went into effect on Sept. 30 that allows CCW permit holders to carry their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as said restaurant does not prohibit such, and as long as the carrier does not consume alcohol.
I started to turn away, but thought better of it. As I’ve noted previously, I carry in my wallet some cards just for incidents of this type:
I went inside and asked for the manager. When he arrived, I introduced myself and handed him a card. “I appreciate your right to put up your sign, but I just wanted you to know that you wouldn’t be getting my business, and I’ll do what I can to make sure others will avoid your business as well,” I said. We exchanged a few more words (pleasantly), and I went on my way.
While waiting for the manager, I noted that there were business cards at the hostess’ desk, so I’d picked one up. His name and email address were on it, so after I got back from lunch – having eaten elsewhere – I dropped him this note:
My name is Kevin Baker. We met this morning when I gave you a small “business card” protesting the posting of a “no guns” sign on the front door of your establishment. Thank you for your time.
If you have an additional moment, I’d like to expand a bit on the short discussion we had before I left. You noted that several of managers of (I assume) other facilities were gun owners, many were CCW permit holders, and “about half” were NRA members, but that you all shared a belief that “guns and alcohol don’t mix.” We agree on that point. I noted that those people who jump through the necessary hoops to get a CCW permit are not the kind of people who are likely to violate the law by drinking while armed. This is one of the points I’d like to expand on.
Can I assume that you are a gun owner? Possibly even the possessor of a CCW permit?
Would you drink while carrying?
Here is my problem with denying me (and others) the ability to carry in your restaurant: I carry a firearm for the protection of myself and (if necessary) others. Like you, I believe that guns and alcohol don’t mix. In order for me to eat in your restaurant, you oblige me to remove my firearm and leave it in my vehicle, not only disarming me but making my firearm vulnerable to being stolen. And you do this because you fear that I might violate the law by drinking alcohol – while armed – in your establishment.
This doesn’t strike you as illogical? It’s OK for me to enter your establishment disarmed, drink, and then go climb into my 3,000lb pickup truck and drive? I’m to be trusted to operate a motor vehicle safely after drinking, but I’m not to be trusted to carry a firearm and not drink?
As I noted this morning, people who are willing to carry a firearm and drink aren’t going to be dissuaded by your sign, they’re going to break the law anyway. But you’ve decided it’s better to disarm me, require me to leave my firearm in my vehicle while I have a burger and fries with friends because, well, I won’t break the law by carrying in a restaurant that has the proper signs displayed.
The argument is ludicrous on its face.
What your sign says is “WE DON’T TRUST YOU, OUR CUSTOMERS.” And it says it to the tiny fraction of the population – those of us with CCW permits – who have been proven to be the most trustworthy.
And for that reason, I won’t give you my business and I’ll encourage others not to either.
Thank you for your attention.
We’ll see if he gives me any response.
UPDATE 10/30: I did get a reply.
Thanks for your input, but really it’s a moot point. What I wish I would have said to you is this….The entire Foothills Mall property has not allowed firearms for quite sometime, so this new gun law hasn’t really changed anything as far as Thunder Canyon Brewery is concerned.
We’ve had a couple complaints from gun owners like yourself. We’ve also had people tell us they really appreciate the sign being there.
The reason I put the sign up in the first place was because some guy called me on the phone pissed off that we were even thinking about putting a sign up. He sounded out of his mind and promised me he was going to rush over for lunch, armed, and exercise his right because he wasn’t breaking any laws. Honestly, he sounded nuts. I put the sign up. If he did come in for lunch that day, before I put the sign up, he DID break the law. The Foothills Mall doesn’t allow firmarms(sic) on their property. We’ve decided to leave the signs up for the time being so there would not be confusion or contradiction between the Foothills Mall policy and our own.
I actually think that you and I agree on most things regarding all the issues being brought up. There are a couple of points I would disagree with however, the first being the “jumping through the necessary hoops to get a CCW”. There aren’t really many hoops. Take a class (the test is easy), hit a target 7 out of 10 times (hopefully easy if you’re a gun owner), and pass a backround(sic) check (should be easy). Everyone I’ve ever talked to has said there were people in their CCW class that they felt shouldn’t get a CCW based soley on the weird(sic) questions and situations they brought up. To say that EVERYONE who has a CCW “has proven to be the most trustworthy” is a little optimistic at least.
But it is statistically proven that CCW carriers are more law-abiding as a group than (*gasp!*) police officers.
Next, I’d like you to put yourself in my situation. I’ll give you some backround(sic). TCB is an independent business. We’re not corperate(sic). We lose a lawsuit, we’re through. 75 people lose there(sic) jobs. Let’s say someone is sitting at the bar. They have their CCW and are carrying a firearm, not drinking. A dangerous situation arises and they feel that someone elses(sic) life is in danger so they draw there(sic) weapon. A number of things could happen:
1. They shoot and kill the suspect…..they’re a hero
2. They shoot and kill the suspect but the bullet exits the suspect and hits someone else (if we don’t have a “No Firearms Sign” up, we get sued)
3. They miss the suspect and hit someone else (we get sued)
4. The suspect sees the CCW owner draw his weapon and begins shooting (we get sued)
5. The suspect starts shooting up your (unarmed) clientele. You get sued for disarming them and not providing other security.
It’s a no-win situation.
You see where I’m going? Sure, I’d love to have plain clothes police officers (we actually quite often do, a number of them are regulars) in the restaurant all the time protecting me, our employees, and our guests from dangerous situations. Do I want civilians playing the same role? The simple answer is no.
Ah, yes. Somehow drawing a .gov paycheck imbues the recipient with magical powers far beyond those of mere mortals! (Actually, it does – it’s called sovereign immunity.)
And as far as you needing to be armed while you dine at TCB? I’ve been there 12 years and never felt un-safe. If you feel it’s so un-safe that you can’t dine there unarmed, then don’t dine there. I wouldn’t dine anywhere (or work for that matter) I felt unsafe either.
You feel safe walking to your car at the end of the day? Possibly carrying the day’s receipts for night deposit? Can you tell me, honestly, where I will never need to carry? It would make my life easier. It’s far simpler just to carry everywhere than it is to put it on, take it off, put it on, take it off . . . .
And, a Breda puts it, “Carry your gun. It’s a lot lighter burden than regret.”
I won’t be carrying it to your restaurant.