Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that made it legal to carry handguns openly on the streets of the nation’s second most-populous state, ending a prohibition dating back to the post-Civil War Era. Whataburger, the restaurant chain, is taking stand against the new law and its likely other restaurants will likely take the same stand against a new state law legalizing the practice in many public places.
The debate will likely continue.
Whataburger president and CEO Preston Atkinson said many employees and customers are “uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm.”
Texas Restaurant Association CEO Richie Jackson said he wasn’t surprised by Whataburger’s advance announcement, noting that “gun rights do not trump property rights” under the new law.
The group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America put out a statement applauding Whataburger’s actions. The organization has successfully petitioned other chains, including Sonic and Chili’s Grill & Bar, to adopt similar policies.
Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham said Whataburger’s policy was “premature and irresponsible,” and that the restaurant caved to “fear mongering.”
Whataburger patron Mary Jones, who was with her 15-year-old grandson, said she was happy that Whataburger took a stand against open carry.
Outside a Whataburger in San Antonio, Charlie Hair said he would feel safer if the chain allowed customers to openly carry firearms. “I prefer an armed society to an unarmed one,”
And so it goes…