A fast-food chain put itself right in the firing line when it comes to gun rights in Texas.
Texas-based Whataburger, with more 780 restaurants in 10 states, has decided to stand against the Lone Star State’s newly minted open carry law by banning visible firearms from its locations.
Company president Preston Atkinson released a statement on the Whataburger website explaining the decision and noting that concealed carry would still be allowed.
“We serve customers from all walks of life at more than 780 locations, 24 hours a day, in 10 states and we’re known for a family friendly atmosphere that customers have come to expect from us. We’re the gathering spot for Little League teams, church groups and high school kids after football games.
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. We have a responsibility to make sure everyone who walks into our restaurants feels comfortable. For that reason, we don’t restrict licensed concealed carry but do ask customers not to open carry in our restaurants.”
Considering Whataburger was born in Corpus Cristi in 1950, and is now based in San Antonio, the company had to know some hostile reaction was coming from pro-gun rights Texans.
And Twitter didn’t disappoint as angry customers — and former customers — took up the topic.
— SlightStrider (@slightstrider) July 12, 2015
@Whataburger Just don’t bring my firearm. Right? So I’ll Burger King or IHOP instead. They don’t ban handguns!
— Raymond Martinez Jr (@PapaGrande_54) July 13, 2015
@Whataburger Make sure to tell your customers that they are guaranteed not to be protected from bad guys in your store. You won’t allow it!
— Kevin (@blogagog) July 12, 2015
@Whataburger Great move morons. This will be costly. Say goodbye to any money that my family would have spent in your establishments.
— jeeprulz (@jeeprulz1) July 12, 2015
@Whataburger Open late and against open carry. Have fun getting robbed.
— Angry_Baldwin (@AngryBaldwin) July 12, 2015
— TeensWantAFuture (@MyOpinion2016) July 12, 2015
@Whataburger Count me out. I don’t give a damn about open carry. But I do give a damn what side you fall on in certain arguments. Goodbye
— RF (@DallasLurker) July 12, 2015
@Whataburger Congratulations! You choose to block licensed Open Carry, I choose to go elsewhere now on. I hope you suffer for your choices!
— Scruffy Face (@Scruffy_Face_1) July 12, 2015
@Whataburger Mark my words….. because of your ignorant decision, the lights will start to go out …………….
— Dutch (@jwdutcher) July 13, 2015
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