There are some topics that split our country down the middle. So, when one of those topics, where people have trouble agreeing, ends up on a sign that 57,000 business within the United States have posted, it causes some people to lose their minds.
Guns in America is a topic that’s hotly debated. There is not a simple “for” or “against” when it comes to guns. Even those who are “against” might believe certain professions should continue to have them while those who are “for” might feel there are some instances where it’s inappropriate to have a gun.
That brings us to the sign in question. Even some of those who claim to be for the Second Amendment and the exercise of those rights, they still might not be comfortable to sit down next to an armed stranger out in public. Then, there are those of us who see this sign and applaud it as we have our own firearm holstered on our bodies but out of sight.
Yes, we are talking about “Guns Welcome” signs. According to The Washington Times, an estimated 57,000 business have popped up within the United States which have posted “Guns Welcome” or similar signs on their front doors. Of course, there are those who applaud such sentiments, but not everyone likes that idea.
In contrast, when it comes to countering such signs, gun control groups, like Moms Demand Action, have only persuaded a little over a handful of major chain businesses to ban guns from their premises in recent years, including Target, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, Starbucks, Chili’s, and Sonic.
Depending on where you live, the “guns welcome” sign likely doesn’t even matter since such a sign isn’t required. Rather, state law is what effects whether a gun is welcome in an establishment that hasn’t banned them from their premises, whether they have a sign indicating guns are “allowed” or not.
Most states across the nation allow citizens to freely carry, with the exception of Maine, North Dakota, and Illinois — who completely ban guns in restaurants or in any establishment that receives more than half its profits from alcohol.
The state of Georgia, however, has extremely lenient laws, allowing firearms into bars and restaurants. The law, which was signed by Governor Nathan Deal, was one of the most comprehensive pro-gun bills in the country at the time it was passed.
Meanwhile, one restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, actually requires the waitresses there to have a weapon strapped to them as part of their dress code. What’s more, patrons come to the restaurant from hundreds of miles around, not just for the burgers but to see the waitresses packing heat. For them, the decision to have their employees open carry has worked for them.
Lauren Boebert, the owner of “Shooters,” says she doesn’t feel fully dressed until she straps on her loaded 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. “I wanted to start carrying just for my protection. This is my establishment, so I didn’t see anything wrong with that,” she said. “[So] I began to open carry.”
Although the people carrying at businesses like Shooters Grill are quite obvious, it’s not in other places. So, whether you believe customers should have to leave their weapons at home or whether you prefer restaurants and other businesses have a more tolerant reaction to guns, encouraging their patrons to come in and eat armed, is actually quite irrelevant, to be honest.
In the end, a law-abiding concealed carry permit holder isn’t going to look for a “welcome sign” because they don’t need one. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably stood right next to a customer who was armed many more times than you ever realized, and you were none the wiser. Those who carry concealed don’t typically advertise it.
While gun owners might enjoy feeling welcomed and choose to bless a business who shares such sentiments by spending their money there, it’s not a requirement to have a posted sign allowing others to carry concealed. Unless it’s expressly forbidden, you are probably just as likely to cross paths with someone carrying concealed at an establishment that doesn’t put out welcome signs as you are one that does. And, it would seem, what you don’t know hasn’t hurt you in this case.