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Some Virginia Businesses May Ban Armed Customers
http://www.wtop.com/index.php?nid=25&sid=229894 ^ | July 18, 2004 | AP

Posted on 07/18/2004 11:04:36 AM PDT by Mulder

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Carrying a weapon in public is legal in Virginia, but it's also upsetting to some. One restaurant chain owner had employees at his four northern Virginia shops post signs last week prohibiting firearms and declaring themselves a "safe zone." Kevin M. Tracy, director of operations for The Bungalow, said the restaurants banned gun-toting customers in March after a man with a firearm strapped to his hip sat down in its Franconia restaurant and ordered a drink. The man properly asserted that Virginia law allows him to openly carry his weapon.

But Tracy thinks guns, with the exception of those carried by police officers, have no place in his restaurants. "People change when they have alcohol," Tracy told The Washington Post. "I think people make too many bad judgments. I've had people who were perfectly wonderful snap."

Virginia residents must have permits to carry concealed weapons, which are prohibited by law from establishments that serve alcohol -- but guns openly displayed are permitted.

Still, restaurant and other business owners in the state have the right to ban customers carrying weapons - both openly carried and concealed - on their property, said Tom Lisk, general counsel for the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association. Establishments can either post a notice or approach customers directly, he said, and people who violate the notice can be prosecuted under a trespass statute.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, said his office could not comment on whether businesses may legally ban patrons carrying guns, because it requires an "interpretation of law" that could not immediately be provided.

Many residents didn't know they had the right to pack a pistol in public until recent incidents in northern Virginia shops and restaurants. Fairfax police have said that residents have been spotted in the county with guns strapped to their hips three times in recent weeks.

Police said a group of men openly carrying guns at a Champps restaurant in Reston last month prompted a 911 call. Three days after that, an officer spotted a couple packing pistols at Reston Town Center. The instances involved members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, an organization of thousands of gun owners statewide, according to Philip Van Cleave, the group's president.

Jim Snyder, 54, of the Kingstowne area, one of the gun owners spotted at Champps, said there's an unfair perception that he and his brethren are prone to violence. He carries his Colt .45 for protection, he said.

"I'm definitely not a wannabe Rambo," said Snyder, who does not have a concealed weapons permit and must carry his gun openly. "I'd rather skulk away from a confrontation than go in. This is a tool of last resort."

The issue is expected to come up for debate in the General Assembly next year. Some lawmakers who share Tracy's concern said the debate, as in recent years, is likely to center on whether patrons should be allowed to carry guns in restaurants, such as The Bungalow, that serve alcohol.

State Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) said she'll reintroduce a bill that would prohibit openly carried guns anywhere alcohol is served.

"I think that any reasonable person would agree that alcohol and guns don't mix," Howell said. "It's better to make sure that nothing happens than be sorry afterward."

Jim Sollo, president of Virginians Against Handgun Violence, said his group believes the combination of guns and alcohol will eventually lead to trouble. He's counting on the recent episodes to stir up support for Howell's legislation next year.

"We think open carrying is dangerous. Sooner or later one of these guys is going to do something stupid or an unfortunate accident is going to happen," Sollo said.

But Van Cleave, a former Texas deputy sheriff who said most gun owners are law-abiding citizens, stressed that restaurant and other business owners already can bar weapons from their businesses if they choose. He said his members respect those choices and are advised to "politely leave" if asked.

Mike Stollenwerk, the man who was asked to leave The Bungalow that March evening, said he often openly carries his weapon in restaurants and "if people feel uncomfortable I've never noticed it."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: 2ndamendment; bang; banglist; ccw; culturalmarxism; culturewar; fairfaxcounty; gun; liberalshatevirginia; liberalwantyourguns; opencarry; rkba; vcdl
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To: Dan from Michigan
Rest assured the majority of folks like myself, received zero training to obtain a weapons permit, the training I received was on my own. To compare the adv gun toting citizen to someone who went to a police academy for several months is simply asinine.
81 posted on 07/18/2004 7:34:55 PM PDT by BOOTSTICK
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To: BOOTSTICK
If you agree that patrons of establishments that serve alcohol, should be allowed to open carry loaded firearms, then I doubt, not only your ability to be responsible for your own safety, but I doubt your sanity as well

It's legal in Virginia and a dozen other states. They don't seem to have a problem with it.

Carrying concealed in places that serve alcholol is legal in about 30 states. And they don't seem to have a problem with it.

82 posted on 07/18/2004 7:53:26 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: OK
I think these types of demonstrations will quickly result in new laws restricting open carry. People just aren't going to ever be comfortable around someone with a weapon out in the open.

I disagree, four of us went to lunch today after Church, two of us were carrying open, and one concealed. The only response from anyone, was the restaurant owner, who I have known for years, said he didn't know I carried.

83 posted on 07/18/2004 7:56:29 PM PDT by c-b 1
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To: Mulder

You obviously don't have a clue, it is NOT legal to carry open in Virginia, in any establishment that serves alcohol, nor is it legal in a dozen other states.


84 posted on 07/18/2004 8:25:06 PM PDT by BOOTSTICK
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To: BOOTSTICK
You obviously don't have a clue, it is NOT legal to carry open in Virginia, in any establishment that serves alcohol

Yeah, it is.

Not only are you stupid, you are also arrogrant and have an extreme superiority complex, which leads me to believe that you're either a cop or a gov't employee.

85 posted on 07/18/2004 8:31:25 PM PDT by Mulder (All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they should.-- Samuel Adams)
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To: Squantos

Perception is a funny thing.

Ha.

An M1911 in Cond. One is a fine fashion statement in my book. Then again, I think spats look great too. Things that work appeal to me. John Moses Browning is one of my favorite high-fashion designers. In fact, if he hadn't designed my pretty little Hi-Powers, I wouldn't carry a 9mm no how, unless ordered to.


86 posted on 07/18/2004 9:00:02 PM PDT by PoorMuttly ("BE Reagan !" - Tony Snow)
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To: BOOTSTICK

Here in my state if an establishment makes less than 51% of their profit from alcohol served on the premises then licensed carry is allowed. Thus if I go to a resturant that serves drinks and makes more on food vs booze then I can carry legally unless posted with a very specific sign required by law at the door. If the sign is posted then I don't enter anyway.......any business than openly declares their patrons unarmed is a place that doesn't get my families time or money.


87 posted on 07/18/2004 9:39:41 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: BOOTSTICK
Why wouldn't you simply go into the Pizza hut with your concealed weapon anyway, since your weapon is concealed, who would know?

You are not breaking any law disregarding a retailers company policy Why the hysterical reaction????

You know, maybe you should familiarize yourself with the laws of NC before you advise someone to break them. In NC a CC licensee would be in violation of the NC concealed weapon law by carrying a gun onto business premises that are posted by the owner or manager of the business with a sign prohibiting weapons. The NC Attorney General's letter I received doesn't say whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor offense, but I don't want to risk either one.

If you want to come to NC and risk sneaking your gun into a posted restaurant, have at it. Personally, I prefer to obey the law and not risk losing my CCL, which would be the the bare minimum penalty if I were caught.

In any case, now that the Pizza Hut franchise has decided it's better business practice to allow legally carried guns in it's restaurants than to lose profits, any CW licensee can carry his or her gun into the place without worrying about being found out and possibly arrested. What's your problem with that?? Or do you just have a problem with the unwashed masses carrying concealed firearms under any circumstances?

88 posted on 07/18/2004 10:01:53 PM PDT by epow (An embryo isn't potential human life, it's human life with potential.)
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To: epow; Mulder

BTTT !............:o)

Stay safe !


89 posted on 07/18/2004 10:18:21 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: BOOTSTICK
Carrying concealed does not imbue you with special knowledge about how business owners feel about armed patrons (I too am a CCW licensee in TX and nothing magic happened to my understanding of business liability issues when I got my license). I was responding to your remarks about business owners and the liability issue. You neither speak for business owners and obviously haven't thought it through. During the LA riots, business owners in Compton and Watts (the same ones you say are concerned about the liability of patrons shooting people) bought many guns during the riots and used them to prevent looting. Likewise many business owners stash guns in their business establishments and use them to protect themselves and their businesses. This is what I meant when I said you don't know what your talking about. What I should of said is don't make sweeping generalizations.

You call open carry advocates buffoons simply because Florida has a 10-15-Life law. In Florida you may be right, but in the broader context you are making a qualitative judgment based on what Florida law is, not on what truly is a good idea. If Florida law banned tea-drinking after 5 p.m. would that make drinking tea at 6 p.m. a bad idea. No. The quality or nature of something is not defined by the law. In practice the law should reinforce what is understood as good. We don't have (I don't believe) that same law in Texas. So your advocacy is moot outside of Florida.

You intimate that open carry may be an "intimidating" factor in minor incidences. I don't see how this is relevant unless what you're really arguing is that it is more likely that someone carrying open will use his side arm and conversely that someone carrying concealed wouldn't. This is a non-sequitor and I don't think you can prove that. If intimidation is your concern then Florida should outlaw being 6-foot 5 and weighing over 260 lbs. because that would intimidate me to no end if I had an accident and the guy in the other car looked like Atlas.

You may disagree with my point about policemen "regularly" killing innocents, and in retrospect that word may have been a poor one. But my point stands. Humans make mistakes including so-called trained experts. Don't point to one mistake and extrapolate from that that there will be wholsale mayhem (or as you say "wild west fantasies" or somesuch nonsense). It hasn't happened with concealed carry, why would open carry be any different?

For the sake of other readers, I am not hostile to police. I simply recognize that they too are humans with problems also (bad kids, financial problems, marital issues, job pressures) and they are not magical people. To assume so and subsequently yeild your rights based on this assumption is just plain foolish. Put a pair of shorts and a Hawiian shirt on a policeman and you have a regular citizen. If citizens have their foibles, then so do policemen.

90 posted on 07/19/2004 12:14:30 AM PDT by DeltaZulu
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To: DeltaZulu
Your arguments fail on several levels. First I have no problem with business owners, such as myself being armed, the point is PATRONS being armed!. It's the reason most gun shops and pawn brokers in these parts have big signs in their windows saying "NO LOADED WEAPONS ALLOWED". Believe me I have thought it through, if you think I'm so wrong about the liability issue, just give your insurance company a call and ask them how they feel about their customers allowing people, other than the police on the premises, they insure, being openly armed, see how they respond. As far as the LA riots are concerned, again the insurance industry would prefer business owners to NOT defend their business with firearms, due to the possibility of innocent patrons getting shot by poorly trained business owners. If you think I'm wrong here just contact any national convenience store chain such as 7-11, and ask them what their policy on their employees being armed. Even though a convenience store clerk is the most likely employee to be shot while on the job {even more so than bank tellers, and police}, the 7-11 chain as well as all other convenience store chains DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW THEIR EMPLOYEES TO BE ARMED WHILE ON THE JOB. Why you ask??????? LIABILITY!!!!!!!!.

You also miss the point on the intimidation factor, in a fender bender for instance , it would be Very intimidating if the person who I just rear ended, is not only pissed off but openly carrying a loaded weapon, common sense dictates this, don't believe me?, next time your pulled over by the police get out of your car before the police approach you with your side arm on, and see how the police react {good luck}. Here in Florida the reason you cannot by law open carry is for that reason, you are even dissuaded from taking your concealed weapon out in plain view as not to alarm the public.

Again I must reaffirm the fact that you are having trouble with, which is the police are far better trained than are people with gun permits, this is simple common sense, and is why i don't have a problem with armed police entering my business because I know what I'm dealing with, I cannot say the same for some stranger who enters my business with a loaded open weapon, you see in my business I AM THE ONLY PERSON ALLOWED TO BE ARMED, AND I LIKE IT THAT WAY!
91 posted on 07/19/2004 2:30:03 AM PDT by BOOTSTICK
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To: epow
As here in Florida, if a sign is posted "no guns allowed" in a business, if the business owner knows you are armed, he can ask you to leave, if you do not, then you are in violation of the law {trespassing}, if you simply leave the establishment when asked, you are not subject to arrest. I'm sure the same is the case in NC, I bet there are zero cases of armed folk being prosecuted for violating the law, who left the premises when asked..nice try though.
92 posted on 07/19/2004 2:38:21 AM PDT by BOOTSTICK
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To: c-b 1

That is good news. I'll bet you don't live in Alexandria though. Heh heh.


93 posted on 07/19/2004 6:18:40 AM PDT by OK
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To: BOOTSTICK
I'm sure the same is the case in NC, I bet there are zero cases of armed folk being prosecuted for violating the law, who left the premises when asked..nice try though.

I have a letter from the NC AG saying it is a violation of the NC CC law to carry a weapon into a posted business. Although the letter doesn't say if violation is a misdemeanor or a felony it is at the least a misdemeanor. If the business owner is a hard line anti-gun freak he or she could not only ask a violator to leave the premises, the violator could be charged with a crime and at the very least have his/her CCL revoked. In NC those are the facts jack, it may not be the same in FL. Whether or not anyone has been prosecuted for violating that law, I don't want to be the first.

In any case, being thrown out of a restaurant by an irate anti-gun store owner isn't my idea of a pleasant experience. Now that won't happen to me or any other lawful gun carrier who patronizes that restaurant. I don't know what your problem is with pro-gun activism, but it's your problem not mine.

As I said before, if you want to break NC law and risk losing your CCL feel free to do so. I would rather be on the right side of the law, not to mention the satisfaction I got from seeing anti-gun Pizza Hut persuaded to acknowledge the right of it's customers to go lawfully armed. If every other CCL licensee would take the same action with other posted businesses maybe more of the signs would come down. But I guess that would be a "hysterical" reaction according to your point of view.

94 posted on 07/19/2004 7:28:30 AM PDT by epow (An embryo isn't potential human life, it's human life with potential.)
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To: BOOTSTICK
Rest assured the majority of folks like myself, received zero training to obtain a weapons permit, the training I received was on my own

Your statement quoted above leads me to believe you don't have a FL CCL and don't even know the FL law in that regard. When I lived in FL a few years ago an applicant for a CCL was required to attend a state approved firearms training class before being issued a CCL. In my county the classes were taught by authorized NRA instructors and consisted of two 8 hour sessions. The only exceptions to the training requirement were ex-military or police personnel who had received formal firearms training in those positions. According to my friend in Bradenton that training requirement has not been changed since I left.

The only thing I can deduce from your argumentative posts is that you are opposed to the entire concept of lawful gun carry by anyone except LEOs. Nice try, but no cigar. Next time you try to disrupt a gun-related thread at least try to get your facts straight before posting.

95 posted on 07/19/2004 7:54:25 AM PDT by epow (An embryo isn't potential human life, it's human life with potential.)
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To: ATCNavyRetiree
CCW law here in WA sez no concealed carry in bars...gotta agree that this should also apply in VA,

There are no "bars" in Virginia. There are restaurants with on-premises Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) licenses. The ban on concealed carry applies to any patron of any restaurant of any sort which holds an ABC license, regardless of whether that patron is drinking. I, and many other Virginians, find this act of prior restraint to be repugnant. We're going to get it repealed, sooner or later. If the folks in Washington State were as sane as we are, they'd be trying to get it repealed as well.

96 posted on 07/19/2004 8:05:20 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Mulder

bump


97 posted on 07/19/2004 8:08:00 AM PDT by Lady Eileen
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To: BOOTSTICK
you see in my business I AM THE ONLY PERSON ALLOWED TO BE ARMED, AND I LIKE IT THAT WAY!

Please identify your business, so that next time I travel to Florida I can avoid it. For your convenience, I'll make sure that all my friends and business colleagues know not to disturb your sense of well being with their presence, either.

98 posted on 07/19/2004 8:21:57 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Somebody needs to post the name and emails of businesses that ban guns here.

I will gladly email them (w/o my address, of course) and tell them I will not be visiting...due to their policy.

If enough people do this...their policy might change.


99 posted on 07/19/2004 8:31:40 AM PDT by Gopher Broke (Put your BUSH 2004 sticker/static on your car NOW)
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To: AUH2OY2K
Some armed customers likely to ban area businesses.

Some armed criminals likely to visit "gun banned" area businesses.

100 posted on 07/19/2004 8:42:56 AM PDT by myheroesareDeadandRegistered
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