This is the kind of thing gun rights activists in Texas apparently don’t want to see anymore. A pair of videos uploaded to YouTube earlier this month show groups of people with semiautomatic rifles being refused service at Chili’s and Sonic locations.
The videos, which were posted by the San Antonio, Texas chapter of Open Carry Texas (OCT), have since been taken down from public view. But Mother Jones obtained copies, and published them on Tuesday.
In the video at a Chili’s, a restaurant employee could be seen telling the group from OCT that before he could seat them he needed to check the restaurant’s policies. He walked away, and a few minutes later returned to tell them they couldn’t have the guns inside.
“We’d be glad to accommodate you, be happy to sit you and feed you, you just have to leave the firearms outside,” an employee said.
The group balked — and left.
“This Chili’s is no longer the safest Chili’s to eat at,” one group member said on his way out the door.
A similar scene took place in the Sonic video. After being asked to wait outside the restaurant’s outdoor seating area, the group members asked that their orders be cancelled, and marched out.
“I feel like I’m a kid again, my mom won’t let me do anything,” the cameraman could be heard saying.
Open Carry Texas was one of the four gun rights groups that signed onto an open letter last week urging their members not to take long guns into private businesses without permission anymore. (An incident earlier this month prompted Chipotle to ask its customers to leave their guns at home.)
“Whereas, our mission is to get open carry of handguns passed in Texas, we must once again adjust in a way that shines a positive light on our efforts, our members, and our respective organizations,” the groups — which also included Come and Take It Texas, Texas Carry, Gun Rights Across America — said in the statement. “We have decided the prudent path, to further our goals, is to immediately cease taking long guns into corporate businesses unless invited.”
For future long gun demonstrations, the groups issued the following set of rules:
1) Always notify local law enforcement prior to the walk, especially the day of
2) Carry Flags and signs during your walk to increase awareness
3) Carry the long gun on a sling, not held
4) Do not go into corporate businesses without prior permission, preferably not at all
5) If asked to leave, do so quietly and do not make it a problem
6) Do not post pics publicly if you do get permission and are able to [open carry] in a cooperate business
7) Do not go into businesses with [ Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission] signs posted with a long gun (Ever)
8) If at all possible, keep to local small businesses that are 2A friendly