To the Poll: Should Restaurants Allow or Ban Guns?

Virginia eateries draw the battle lines.

Firearms and food, a dangerous or delicious mix? Photograph via Shutterstock.

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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.