The New Year brought a new law to Texas. Yep, it has to do with guns, and it’s causing a stir among restaurant owners. (You had a 50-50 chance of guessing what the law entailed, but it’s harder to make a connection between restaurants and women’s reproductive rights.)
As of 1/1/16, patrons have a right to openly carry firearms while they dine in a restaurant, which will probably improve service while also setting up the possibility of reenacting every episode of “Gunsmoke” that featured Miss Kitty’s saloon.
Actually, not true. As far as I can remember, Miss Kitty wasn’t much of a cook and her establishment didn’t serve food. Even under the new rule, any business that generates 51 percent or more of its revenue from the sale of alcohol is still a no-go for guns.
And, as this article from Eater explains, restaurant owners can opt out of allowing their patrons to bring a gun to the table. And many are doing just that. The reason is that even if 49 percent of the sales comes from beer, wine and alcohol, adding firearms to the equation doesn’t add up for them. Owners cite keeping their other guests and their employees safe by asking people not to bring guns into the restaurant.
Before those of us in Florida smugly mutter that we’re not as backwards thinking as Texans (if you’re of the gun-control mindset, at least), consider this: Most of the major cities — and a whole lot of the smaller ones, too — have laws banning smoking in all public spaces, including restaurants and bars. How’s that for protecting your employees? Florida still allows smoking in bars. And it’s likelier that a bartender or cocktail slinger will die of a smoking related cause than a shot from a smoking gun.
But don’t get me started on that.
Too late, I’ve started. More to come on this topic.
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