Do you carry in restaurants?

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My wife immediately knows when we walk into a restaurant which seat I want at the table. After hanging out with me for decades, I've become a creature of habit in preferring to have the seat that offers the best view of the room while keeping my own back to the wall as much as possible. Call me crazy, but yes, if I'm out to eat, I am carrying.

Do you carry in restaurants? - christophereger - open-carry-3-1980.jpg
(While normally I am a strict advocate of concealed carry over open carry, due to its tactical advantages and ability to mitigate people 'freaking out,' in jurisdictions that it is legal, open carry in restaurants is a viable option)


In perhaps one of the worst mass murder incidents in US history, 35-year-old George Pierre "Jo Jo" Hennard crashed his Ford Ranger through the front of a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas and shot 43 people that he had never met before, then proceeded to take his own life. One survivor of this incident, Dr. Suzanna Hupp, regretted that she did not have her gun with her that day for the rest of her life due to restrictive gun laws that prevented it.

Luby's Cafeteria Massacre survivor Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp testifying to Congress on why good Americans obeying bad gun laws leads to death and suffering.

Not isolated

Besides Lubys, there are other instances that occur regularly across the country in restaurant.

Do you carry in restaurants? - christophereger - 5-killed-in-nevada-ihop-1979.jpg

In 2011, without cause a local man shot 12 at an IHOP in Carson City, NV, opening fire on a group of National Guardsmen as they ate their meal.

In Chicago recently, a ski-mask clad attacker opened fire on three men in a local eatery.

In another recent case an off-duty police officer was forced to shoot a man following a disturbance in a restaurant after the suspect went to his car, got a gun, and aimed it at the cop.

Expanded laws

In the Luby's incident in 1991, concealed carry was at its infancy in the United States with few who did so. Today there are more than 8-million ccw holders nationwide and this number is rising every day.

This had led many states to allow legal concealed carry in restaurants (and in bars) with certain caveats.

Kentucky's state senate just last week ok'd a bill that would allow concealed carry in bars. This follows a recent law implemented in South Carolina that allows CCW holders to carry in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol as long as they do not partake themselves.

According to most accounts, some 40+ states current allow legal concealed carry in one form or another.

And in my state, when I'm out to eat I have a passenger along for the ride quietly inside the waistband of my 4 o'clock position. You can recognize me.
I'm the guy with my back against the wall.

If you carry in restaurants, or even if you don't let us know why in the space below.

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March 1, 2014  •  01:11 AM
In Florida it is legal to carry a concealed weapon into a restaurant that serves alcohol and also has a bar where the sole purpose is the sell of alcohol as long as the CWP holder does not sit at the bar area, period. Even if food is served at the bar. In any restaurant that serves alcohol but who's sole purpose is the sale of food. We can not carry into a bar who's sole purpose is the sale od Alcohol.
March 1, 2014  •  10:08 AM
I've carried now for over 25 years and I've always observed the law of whichever state I'm in at the time. I always carry concealed even though I support open carry. In my home area, I know a great many of the competition shooters since I helped get that sport started years ago so it is somewhat comforting to see those whom I know are carrying in my favorite restaurants.
March 1, 2014  •  12:16 PM
The IHOP shooting was in Carson City, not Las Vegas, but that doesn't change the meaning of the example. Great article and is a fine example of what all honest gun carriers know to be true. Good people will and can be killed by bad people if good people with guns are not present to prevent it. I carry concealed and do so even in places that may have signage against because I value my life and those around me more than the fears of the ignorant. As long as my weapon stays concealed then who is the wiser? If it doesn't stay concealed, then I had to use it to protect myself or others from being killed and any consequence would be worth it. I'm not against open carry and I'm considering it when I want to carry some of my less concealable guns but it does limit my ability to carry in such places that I can get away with concealed. Always better to be armed and not need it than the other alternative.
March 4, 2014  •  03:57 PM
I carry concealed because I am too old to fight, and too fat to run.
March 6, 2014  •  10:43 AM
I hate to use the old cliche', "better to be judged by twelve, than carried by six", but lately it's the way I feel!
March 6, 2014  •  02:03 PM
I always carry concealed and support open carry. Good article on where to sit to be honest I'm usually to hungry to wait for a particular spot but now I might carry a snack and get my back on a wall. Kudos good Idea.
March 6, 2014  •  02:09 PM
As of October 2013 we can carry in bars and resturants in North Carolina. I have saved a lot of money in the last 6 months, we go out for dinner and I can't order an adult beverage...
March 6, 2014  •  02:52 PM
If my eyes are open and I'm not in bed I'm carrying .......................
March 6, 2014  •  03:56 PM
In AZ we have Constitutional Carry. If you can legally own a firearm you can carry concealed. You can also carry into eateries and bars as long as you don't consume alcohol and the business hasn't posted a no firearms sign. Some of these gave me pause when enacted but the "blood will run in the streets" wailing never came to pass. I've always sat facing the door. Old habits are hard to break. I never carry open. My reasoning is that it will make me one of the first targets rendering my firearm useless. I'd rather the bad guy get a surprise instead of me.
March 6, 2014  •  04:34 PM
Rather. Be caught with than without.
March 6, 2014  •  07:07 PM
I also carry anytime I leave the house. Tonight I will be in Topeka KS which seems to have someone getting shot every day. Maybe not all the time but it sure seems that way on the news. I do not shop or eat where there are signs against carrying, like the Mall. There are a few locations that frequent with Green "Go to GO" for carry signs. My wife feels much better when we are carrying and at a constant yellow state of mind.
March 7, 2014  •  10:46 AM
Sitting with your back to the wall(at home or in a restaurant)is always the best defense. Wild Bill Hickok always did so til his last poker game. He was shot in the back while holding what later became known as "Dead Man's Hand".