To the Poll: Should Restaurants Allow or Ban Guns?

Virginia eateries draw the battle lines.

By: Anna Spiegel

Virginians are bringing the firearm debate to the table.

The Old Dominion State legally allows its residents to tote unconcealed weapons in public—making it a pioneer in the “open carry” movement—but also permits private businesses to prohibit guns on their properties. Certain restaurants, like the newly opened Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in Woodbridge, have gained national attention for banning firearms; the country singer’s eatery displayed a “no guns permitted” sign on the door. Others, such as Leesburg’s Cajun Experience, welcome gun owners with open arms. The news this week focused on the Louisiana-inspired restaurant’s owner, Bryan Crosswhite, who recently founded the website 2AO, which has the tagline, “People supporting businesses that support the 2nd Amendment.” The online database allows gun-friendly establishments to register, promote events—Crosswhite’s Open-Carry Wednesdays with meal discounts are prominently listed—and receive “2AO” stickers for their windows. Crosswhite likened the website to a Zagat for the arms-bearing crowd, telling the Washington Times, “That way people who want to do business with pro-Second Amendment companies will automatically connect with those Second Amendment companies.”

So what do you think? Should restaurants allow—and encourage—the presence of guns, or ban them altogether? To the poll.