Brady Campaign opposes ‘open carry’ in eateries

On Sunday, two days after I wrote an article about how a Southern California Assemblyman was introducing a new bill to ban the “open carry” of loaded handguns in public places, I got word of a parallel effort to crack down on the practice.

Karen Arntzen, the California chapter services and advocacy coordinator for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence – and a participant in an “open carry” panel that I moderated for the Commonwealth Club in Lafayette last June – forwarded me a news release announcing that the Brady Campaign’s California chapters have launched a “Demand Gun-free Dining” project urging restaurants and businesses to exercise their right to adopt gun-free policies. CA Brady Campaign President Dallas Stout kicked it off by sending a letter to the California Restaurant Association asking that it inform their members about the workplace safety issue allowing guns into restaurants, particularly those that serve alcohol.

“This public display and flaunting of semi-automatic handgun weaponry puts restaurant employees and customers at risk of an accident or vigilante-type incident where innocent bystanders could get shot,” CA Brady Campaign spokesperson Shikha Hamilton said in the news release. “The CA Brady Campaign will do all it can to help keep our families and communities safe from gun violence.”

CA Brady Campaign members will be contacting restaurants in their areas, and restaurant managers who agree to adopt gun-free policies will be offered window decals and can request to be featured as “family-friendly” and linked on the CA Brady Campaign website. CA Brady Campaign members also will be picketing restaurants where open-carry gatherings take place; one such protest is scheduled for Thursday evening at a pizza restaurant in Manhattan Beach.

Open carry events in the East Bay early last year led companies including California Pizza Kitchen, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Buckhorn Grill to adopt gun-free policies.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    I feel so much safer already!

  • John W

    At least they should be required to establish “Shooting” and “No shooting” sections.

  • Mr Richman is this a typical article that we can expect from you or could there be some that will attempt to cover both sides of issues such as this. Are you capable of delivering coverage that is “fair and balanced” or just liberal tripe? Inquiring minds need to know. Honest journalism or bird cage liners?

  • ralph hoffmann

    ‘Open Carry’ in eateries puts a new meaning to the phrase ‘Eat Lead.’

  • steve weir

    How about; “Get the Lead Out”.

    I’m just the messenger….don’t shoot.

  • Barny

    How about “Lead free eatery”