Fast Food Joints to Gun Groups: Please Stop Terrorizing Our Customers

An open carry proponent at a May 29 demonstration in Fort Worth, Texas.
An open carry proponent at a May 29 demonstration in Fort Worth, Texas. –Tony Gutierrez/AP

You know what’s great at Chili’s? The nachos. What’s less great? A group of armed men watching you eat your nachos.

Sensing the discomfort of everyone except the guys with the guns, Chili’s has announced it will no longer allow people to openly carry firearms in their stores, unless they are a law enforcement officer. Same goes for Sonic, according to a CNN Money report. Chipotle and Starbucks have also issued policies outlawing firearms in their establishments.

The two chains were the recent targets of Open Carry Texas, a second amendment booster club that likes to walk into restaurants with their AR-15s, Uzis and other guns, then mansplain the second amendment to the bewildered customers who dare complain.


Mother Jones captured Open Carry Texas’s video of their encounters at Chili’s and Sonic. Both times, a manager politely asked the gun-toting constitutionalists to show themselves the door. And both times, group members licked their wounds in the parking lot.

By the time they were kicked out of the Sonic, the freedom fighters were clearly exasperated that no one understood the constitution. “Man, we can’t do nothing,’’ said one Open Carry Texan, “I feel like a kid again, and my mom won’t let me do anything.’’

Even the National Rifle Association, which has never met a gun restriction it didn’t want to shoot dead, thinks these guys are “downright weird.’’

Let's not mince words, not only is it rare, it's downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one's cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

Did that gentle advice from the most successful gun lobby in the history of the world change any minds in the open carry movement?

Not so much.

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