While many states now have open carry laws that allow residents to carry a gun in plain sight, more and more businesses have been struggling with how to deal with it. Many have kindly asked customers to leave their firearm at home, while others encourage patrons to bring them in. And some have taken it a step further by offering a discount when customers flash their handgun.
Trent Brooks, a co-owner of Brooks’ Place just outside Houston, Texas, says he’s a businessman, not a politician. Even before Texas started allowing open carry in 2016, the restaurant owner said he has always welcomed gun owners to bring their weapons and enjoy the food.
Brooks, a supporter of Texas’s open carry laws, offers a 10 percent discount to all handgun owners.
“We support the Second Amendment, and anyone who has the sense to protect themselves, their homes and businesses, their families and their neighbors – when they have to. It’s just an appreciation thing. It’s not political.”
When the barbecue joint announced on Facebook that handgun owners were getting a discount, some users celebrated the decision, while others criticized it.
“I applaud your courage and American spirit!” one Facebook user wrote. “God Bless you and your business!”
“This has bad idea written all over it,” wrote another. “Please tell me when would anyone need to use a gun for any reason in a restaurant? TX you are about to lose a lot of business in your state.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Texas open carry laws that went into effect on January 1 allow residents with concealed gun permits to keep their guns in plain view as long as it is in a belt or shoulder holster. Yet, the state still bans them in correctional facilities, polling places, schools, and some establishments where alcohol is served.
Brooks says he’s committed to serving good, quality food, but he understands the joint’s policy may lose him some customers. Yet, he says they are welcome should they ever want to come back.
In Post Falls, Idaho, the Dueling Irons restaurant gives a 15 percent discount to any customer carrying a gun, openly or concealed. Additionally, a patron is entitled to the same discount even if they left their gun at home as long as they have a valid gun permit.
“I wanted to provide a safe environment for people to come in and not only learn, but experience that gun owners are usually self-respecting, very good people,” said owner Thomas Didra.
Didra went on to say that his “upscale mom and pop diner” has been a meeting place for gun enthusiasts, and the open carry policy is welcomed by most customers. Didra said the discount is his way of rewarding handgun owners for properly following Idaho’s open carry law.
This goes against the policy of some national restaurant chains with locations in the Gem State. Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Starbucks, and Chili’s all have established gun-free zone policies.
In Idaho, no permit is needed to openly carry a firearm, but in order for a gun owner to carry it concealed, a permit is required.
After New Orleans-style restaurant Papa Roux in Indianapolis, Indiana, was robbed in October, the restaurant announced a 25 percent discount to any customer carrying a gun. Owner Art Bouvier hopes the discount will encourage gun-packing, law-abiding citizens to eat at the restaurant while keeping criminals out.
After the robbery, a customer approached Bouvier and told him he had a gun and was prepared to use it. No one was hurt during the robbery, but the New Orleans native doesn’t want to be an easy target again. Bouvier already offers a 50 percent discount to law enforcement officers.
As of 2016, 14 states allow gun owners to openly display a firearm with a permit, while 31 others have open carry laws that do not require one.
Should restaurants and other businesses offer discounts for people who openly carry a gun?
[Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images]