Indiana lawmakers file bills to make guns easier to buy, carry.
Then there is Texas, and this conversation-starter from Austin. A brief digression is merited.
Roughly at midpoint of Bank Street Brewhouse's original dining concept, a customer entered with a piece prominently displayed, presumably with a permit to do so.
One of the employees called me at home: What to do? Other customers saw the gun, gotten up, and left the building. There was consternation in the room.
I told him that this particular form of narcissism was perfectly legal, and there wasn't much to be done. We'd be compelled to have a management-level discussion, which we subsequently did.
Should we post pictograms of guns with slashes through them? Should words of reinforcement be added, even in a society like ours that refuses to read?
Ultimately, we did nothing. It seemed to be a one-off, and I don't think it happened again, but I remember what one of our employees asked:
If we posted signs prohibiting guns on the premises, and then someone came in with one anyway, exactly how does a server politely ask the open carry to leave?
Good question. Now, to Texas.
Austin Restaurants Stand Ground on Open Carry, by Melanie Haupt (Eater Austin)
On January 1, the law allowing licensed handgun owners to openly carry their firearms in public went into effect. The law, however, allows for private businesses to opt out of this measure, provided there are posted signs with one-inch-high block letters in conspicuous places stating that guns are not allowed on the property.
Some restaurants across the state have embraced the new law, like Amigo's BBQ Grill in Pflugerville. One Houston barbecue trailer, Brooks Place, is even going so far as to offer a 25% discount to diners packing heat.
Here in Austin, a number of restaurants have already chosen to prohibit open carry. Foreign & Domestic is among those restaurants. "There are several reasons why [we chose to opt out]," owner Ned Elliott told Eater, "but first and foremost, a warm, safe, inviting, joyous environment for all does not include sidearms." He added, "We want Foreign & Domestic to be a celebration." As such, any behaviors that infringe on other people’s comfort are off the menu at the North Loop restaurant.