The controversial open carry incident involving semi-automatic rifles in a Dallas, Tex. restaurant that led the restaurant chain ask people to not bring guns to their establishments is now garnering overwhelmingly negative reactions from gun-owning readers of a popular gun rights blog.
An unscientific poll started by the Guns Save Lives (GSL) shows nearly 85 percent of the respondents think carrying rifles into a restaurant is going to hurt the gun rights movement. Less than ten percent of the respondents think it will help, and between five and six percent aren’t sure.
Compounding the potential for a backlash was the image of two rifle-toting guys inside that restaurant. The image has gone viral, and is being used as an example of bad behavior by open carry advocates.
One contributing factor to this spat is that Texas does not allow the open carry of handguns, only long guns. While OC advocates are laboring to change that, their only means of packing firearms openly is to carry a rifle or shotgun. Immediately following Chipotle’s announcement, anti-gun rights organizations began claiming credit for pressuring the restaurant chain to ban firearms in its franchises. That is not entirely accurate, however.
Chipotle’s didn’t ban guns outright, it merely asked customers not to bring them in, upsetting other customers. As with the Starbucks controversy last year, no doubt people are still carrying concealed into various coffee shops, but nobody realizes it. In other states, people openly carry handguns and the practice has not caused the same reaction as the sight of people carrying rifles. It is not known how long the GSL poll will remain active.
For additional perspective, check out the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner.