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.