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July 7, 2015      12:22 PM

Most Texas restaurants take a wait and see approach on open carry but not Whataburger

Industry leaders say the change in law may eventually lead to many restaurants simply banning all firearms on their property rather than constantly explaining to customers what’s allowed and what isn’t

In an announcement that surprised many in its industry, a major Texas-based fast food chain has now bluntly told customers not to openly carry firearms in any of its restaurants in this state or anywhere it operates.

Industry leaders on Tuesday also said that one eventual reaction to the recent change in Texas law could very well be that many restaurant owners will outright ban all firearms in their places of business – which is their right as property owners – regardless of whether those weapons are openly carried or are concealed.

In an open letter to the “gun rights community,” Whataburger President and CEO Preston Atkinson reacted to the recent change in Texas law by saying that its stores will continue to be places that customers are welcome to concealed carry with a license. But, openly carrying a firearm will continue to be prohibited on their property in Texas and elsewhere, Atkinson said.

“We’ve had many customers and employees tell us they’re uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm who is not a member of law enforcement, and as a business, we have to listen and value that feedback in the same way we value yours,” Atkinson wrote.

By Scott Braddock