Welcoming armed customers can attract Second Amendment rights activists, deter crime

Carrying rights are now a reality in every state, while only three states — Maine, North Dakota and Illinois — claim a complete ban on guns in restaurants or any establishment that derives more than half of its profits from alcohol. In many states, including Ohio, it’s up to the customer to refrain from drinking alcohol while carrying a firearm — which can be an operational headache. Some remain silent on the issue, essentially giving a free pass to carry.

While each state’s bill is written differently and has varied licensing requirements, most give restaurant and bar owners the right to “post” their establishment — that is, to tack a sign onto their door either prohibiting or allowing guns.

After the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, many national chain eateries, including Starbucks, Sonic and Chipotle, told their customers to leave behind their weapons — homing in on what they believed to be a rising national antigun sentiment.

However, many smaller restaurants and bars are embracing guns, telling patrons to come in and eat armed for a variety of reasons, including not angering their own customer base, to attract Second Amendment rights activists and to not leave themselves vulnerable to crimes by blatantly stating everyone in the joint is unarmed.

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