The NRA’s strong statement reprimanding a few people for carrying long guns into restaurants was bound to get media attention. Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action and much of the media quickly jumped in and described various restaurants as “asking customers to leave their guns at home.” But their assertions couldn’t be more misleading.
The question here isn’t whether open carry deters crime. The question is what deters crime more: open or concealed carry.
A big deal has been made of Starbucks, Jack in the Box, Chipotle, Wendy’s, Applebee’s, Chili’s and Sonic’s supposed bans on guns, with Bloomberg’s groups declaring “victory.”
Yet, Starbucks “respectfully requesting” customers no longer bring in openly carried guns is not a ban on guns.
Jack in the Box’s statement “we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurant” refers to open carry. Neither restaurant forbids customers from carrying concealed handguns and comments like “request” or “prefer” are a long ways from bans.
Calls to all these restaurants revealed that none of them have changed their policy about posting any signs banning either generally banning guns or permitted concealed handguns.
With 11 million concealed handgun permits in the United States, it is understandable why none of these businesses want to risk losing that many customers.