Open carry is more a weapon of intimidation than one of self-defense. The stats are clear: Gun owners are are more likely to shoot or be shot by someone they know or are related to. The belief that guns make one safer is mostly mythology, and far more the exception that the rule.
Thanks again, Houston Press, for letting Texans know where we can go to eat without fear of intimidation-by-gun.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 | 16 days ago
Now that the open-carry law is in effect, restaurants are having to come to final decisions on whether they will or will not allow it. Photo by Mojave Desert via Flickr Creative Commons
Now that the open-carry law is in effect, restaurants are having to come to final decisions on whether they will or will not allow it.
Now that January 1 has rolled past and it’s legal to openly carry handguns (where they aren’t still banned), many Houston restaurants have had to make a firm decision on the issue. As private property, restaurants have the right to post 30.07 signs forbidding patrons and employees from openly carrying handguns. Walking past the signs onto private property with a gun is illegal unless you’re a law enforcement officer. (Even if the signs are not posted, private property owners still have the right to ask anyone to leave for any reason.)
To forbid concealed handguns, restaurants have to post the 30.06 sign. Of course, if it’s concealed, how would they know if a customer was in violation unless something bad happens, as when a customer dropped his gun in a Kingwood restaurant? It went off and a 71-year-old grandmother was shot. She had to have five surgeries, fought to regain mobility and, to this day, still has no feeling in her left foot. Needless to say, she’s not a fan of guns in restaurants. (The restaurant where the accident occurred, Raffa’s, has posted a 30.07 sign banning open carry.)
Houston activist Kyle Nielsen has maintained a publicly available online spreadsheet for the past several weeks, along with a little help from a few local journalists, including myself. We’ve used the spreadsheet to curate the list below.
Some restaurants that initially indicated they would not be posting signs have changed positions lately, and vice versa. Pizaro’s owner Bill Hutchinson said that after our previous article that reported that Pizaro’s would not be posting a 30.07 sign, he received “a hundred phone calls” from customers agitated over the decision. It turns out that an unknown Pizaro’s employee had incorrectly answered the question about open carry that Nielsen posted to their Facebook page.
There are some major restaurant players who have remained conspicuously silent: Landry’s, Perry’s Steakhouse and Pappas. Nielsen says that he has tried to get a response multiple times. Houston Press writer Leif Reigstad also emailed the companies’ public relations representatives and never received a response.
If your restaurant does or does not allow open carry and you want people to know about it, contact us by clicking my name above and sending me an email.
Below, in alphabetical order, is a list of Houston-area restaurants that do NOT allow open carry: