While guns are off the welcome list at chains including Chipotle and Starbucks a small but growing number of independent restaurateurs around the U.S. are rolling out the red carpet, reports the Wall Street Journal. Eateries like Shiloh Brew & Chew in Maryville, Tn., are posting signs saying guns are welcome. All Around Pizza and Deli in Virginia Beach, Va., is offering discounts for patrons who show up armed, while The Cajun Experience in Leesburg, Va., hosts “Second Amendment Wednesdays.” At Shooters Grill in Rifle, Co., the waitresses pack heat.
“I believe in the right to bear arms, and as a small business owner, who am I to take it away?” said Sharma Floyd, the owner of Shiloh Brew & Chew. She posted a small, paper sign in the window of her restaurant noting that “guns are welcome on premises,” above a picture of a handgun. After a local television station ran a story on the move, business spiked, she said, largely due to an influx of diners carrying concealed weapons. Most states readily allow their residents to carry handguns outside the home, either in a concealed or open fashion. Private businesses have wide latitude to allow or restrict firearms, and some, motivated by a perceived anti-gun sentiment after the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Ct., have opened their doors to guns.