The celebrations for the new year marked a new open-carry gun law taking effect in Texas. Handgun license holders in Texas are now allowed to carry their guns in visible holsters on their hip or shoulder. Previously, Texans wanting to carry a handgun had to obtain a concealed handgun license and conceal their weapon. With the new law, the more than 826,000 license holders will be allowed to display their handguns in most public places, NPR reports. The law allows private businesses to ban guns if they choose. Some business owners are concerned about the implications of having openly armed customers.
Dallas restaurant owner Jack Perkins is a gun rights supporter, but he says visible weapons may be bad for business and he will prohibit them. Chains including Starbucks, Jack In The Box, Chili’s, Sonic and Chipotle have asked customers to leave weapons at home. “There’s a large amount of the population that guns scare them,” Perkins says. “If there are three or four people in the restaurant all carrying guns then you’re going to be uncomfortable. And I’d just rather people not be uncomfortable.” He doesn’t object to customers bringing concealed weapons into his restaurants. “Carrying a concealed weapon is all about eventualities — things that might happen, and protection in that case,” he says. “There’s a lot of cash in my business. I have employees too. Restaurants get robbed, businesses get robbed, and I have employees that I would like to protect.”