Restaurants fight back against open carry laws

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Updated: 6/03 10:05 am
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) There has been some real controversy in Texas concerning guns and restaurants. Restaurants like Chili’s and Sonic have taken steps to prevent gun owners from bringing weapons inside their places of business.

"The question on the table is whether or not the property owner, the business owner, the restaurant owner has the right to dictate what comes through his door,” said Shooter Depot owner John Martin.

Some gun enthusiasts in Texas are testing that question. So is it wrong for a restaurant to deny service to those who openly carry a firearm? Local gun shop owner John Martin feels it's the restaurant's choice.

"And if he doesn't want to allow donkeys that's his prerogative, he doesn't want to allow firearms that's his prerogative,” said Martin.

Acropolis manager, Nick Kyriakidis, echoes that thought.

"I don't think discrimination is the word, I think what it is, I think it's private property and we should be able to determine how best to run our business,” said Kyriakidis. “You don't want disruption you just want a normal course of business, and I think that's kind of what each business owner should be looking for."

Kyriakidis says it's all about keeping your patrons safe and comfortable.

"If someone came dressed and we though it was inappropriate that would make other guest uncomfortable, we would address that when they came in,” said Kyriakidis

Tennessee is one of thirteen states that have an open carry law, and that could potentially cause a little friction with some restaurants.

But Kyriakidis says he doesn't feel the law will trigger any problems locally, and says they will deal with it when it happens.

"If someone is carrying an assault riffle or a gun and laying it across the table, we would notice it and we would address it at that time,” said Kyriakidis

Even though Tennessee has an open carry law, Alabama and Georgia do not. You must conceal your weapon in public.
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