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A Moscow, Idaho restaurant is offering a discount to customers who openly carry firearms while scarfing their ribs. In the vast majority of states, openly carried firearms are legal. The right to open carry has been used in a number of states to push for the passage of “shall issue” laws to allow people to legally carry firearms concealed.  Virginia, Ohio, and Wisconsin are states that come to mind.  Texans are currently using the legal open carry of rifles, guaranteed in their state constitution . . .

to push for the legal open carry of handguns. Arizonans used the right to open carry to remove illegal regulation.  Guam had open carry before they passed a “shall issue” law this year.  The strategy  has generally worked.

Forty-one states and one territory have “shall issue” statutes, eight states have “may issue” laws, which allow local authorities to deny carry permits without clearly stated reasons. One state, Vermont, does not require a permit to carry a gun and does not issue one. Four of the “shall issue” states do not require permits, but issue them for reasons of reciprocity and special circumstances.

Private establishments have always had the right to bar customers from carrying arms on their property, a right that was usurped by the government in many states. When the general right to bear arms is restored, many store owners are exhorted by the media to ban the carry of arms on their premises.  In some locations, the local governments applied some persuasion to this end, even buying “no guns” signs to “give” to store owners to “assist” them in making the decision.   After the stores start losing customers, and are told why, the signs come down.

Some establishments have discovered what has long been established by various studies: gun owners tend to be better educated and more prosperous than the general public. Crime rates tend to drop with an increase in citizens carrying legal guns.   Some of these establishments have put these facts together and come to the obvious conclusion:  It is a good idea to attract gun carriers as customers. The value is clear. Not only does the store or restaurant gain business, it gains a considerable increase in security for almost no cost. Everyone understands why police bars, donut shops, and gun shops are seldom the targets of armed robberies: criminals do not wish to be shot.

Here is the notice from the restaurant’s web site,

Do you offer an open carry discount?
Yes.  Since opening in 2010 we have offered a 10% discount if you open carry a handgun. Before we opened up, we knew we wanted to offer this as an incentive to folks who carry guns. We wanted to offer this friendly invitation to fellow members of the firearms community since not all businesses are always ‘carry friendly’. While it may turn some heads and has sparked some interesting conversations, it has also brought CD’s a variety of very cool, very friendly regular customers. Don’t worry – all of our gun-toting fans display responsibility and safety! If you’re ever in & would like to know more about this policy or firearms related information in general, feel free to ask!

CD’s Smoke Pit has hit on a business model that appears to be working well. Other establishments have welcomed legal firearms owners, CD’s goes further by working to attract them.  I suspect that we will see more of this strategy in the future.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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  1. An OC discount should bring in the Moscow PD and squeeze out the University of Idaho undergrads. Which is reason enough.

    • I’m a Vandal alumnus and I can tell you that most U of I undergrads are too wasted off Keystone Light to carry home a mechanical pencil without hurting themselves.

  2. Come to think of it, even in Texas the person in control of a privately-owned property can give permission to people to carry handguns on that property, openly or otherwise. I gather that would apply to restaurants like any other property.

  3. Wow…love the progressive map! I mentioned today that we are WINNING ( and not like Charlie Sheen ). Good to see such a vivid progression. Especially since I live in Illinois! Big shout out to CD’s Smoke Pit.

  4. My mouth is really watering after reading how they prepare their meats. I wonder if they ship to neighboring states?

  5. In theory, every business owner has the authority to determine what its guests can and cannot do with regard to everything, including carrying firearms. In practice, governments substantially interfere with what business are allowed to dictate on their property.

    Carrying a firearm in public is a right that should not be infringed upon by the government. But carrying a firearm onto someone else’s property is indeed a privilege.

    I am glad that CD’s gives a discount to folks who carry. There’s a pizza place in Virginia Beach that does a similar thing. I wish more locations would do so.

  6. Is this commercializing the 2A, like Christmas and Easter and Memorial Day? A simple “thank you” seems more ethical to me than a discount.

    Memorial Day and Thanksgiving aren’t about sales and discounts, and neither should our gun rights.

    • Hey being old I take advantage of every senior discount…is that like giving discounts to recent vets? It is a GREAT INCENTIVE.

    • This is a smart marketing ploy. There are those that would go to a restaurant to try it out if they know that there is a discount. It does not have to be an open carry discount, it could be for anything. There is a reason fast food chains have coupons printed in the local news papers, it’s to boost sales. This guy offers an open carry discount….the country now knows about this guy’s open carry discount. How many gun owners, even if they are not carrying, will eat at this restaurant because it supports the second amendment? How many will specifically seek out this restaurant when in the area? This is a smart business owner….he gets free advertising through word of mouth…especially if the food is good. He gets free protection from robbers…who really wants to rob a place that offers a discount to armed people? Chances are good armed people will be eating there. Often it is not a single large sale that keeps a business in business, but many smaller sales and repeat customers.

    • Craig, is this a joke? Because if it is not, this has got to be one of the most patently absurd objections to a restaurant welcoming OC I think I’ve ever read.

      What else is the Second Amendment fundamentally about if not the kind of individual freedom, freedom from even the tyranny of ideas like “thou must always hidest thou gun,” that free association and fellowship with friends represents?

      What else is the Second Amendment ultimately about if not a businessman finding a way to prosper in tough times on his own initiative by attracting the kinds of customers he wants to serve?

      The government is not bailing him out of a failing business. He’s marketing to a demographic that he wants in his shop. I say we celebrate this for a lot of reasons.

      Really…if this was NOT a joke, we should be cautioned to not be too negative all the time, tripping over our own feet like a group of Keystone Cops that cannot get out of our own way.

  7. I have two basic thoughts for any store owner that wants to put up a “no guns” sign:

    (1) The people who will voluntarily comply with your “no guns” sign are not a threat to you, your staff or your customers.

    (2) The people that are a threat to you, your staff or your customers are not going to obey your sign.

    • No I see a sign like that I laugh, and go in any way. Typically only Buffalo Wild Wings (sorry I have a weak spot) and toys R’ us. I know I carry when I am with my daughter…. Gasp!!! I am sorry I will spank myself, and promise to never do it again.

      • I know that you and many other folks do that. It’s not as if I or anyone else is going to stop you.

        But my points are still valid re: the sign.

        And that’s the kicker … posting the sign does absolutely nothing to protect anyone’s safety. It creates a false sense of security, but not real security. It actually endangers people since it notifies criminals that their potential victims are more likely to be disarmed.

        That’s a message that I’d like to get more of the store owners to hear.

        And this should go without saying, of course, but don’t ever apologize for doing what’s needed to protect your daughter.

        • “And this should go without saying, of course, but don’t ever apologize for doing what’s needed to protect your daughter.”

          +1,000,000,000,000,000 and then some but I got tired of typing.

        • “And this should go without saying, of course, but don’t ever apologize for doing what’s needed to protect your daughter.”

          This, this, this

          I, coincidentally, just got back from doing a little grocery shopping with my two year-old daughter. Queue up the FUD, I was openly carrying. It’s wild: 90% of people don’t even seem to notice, 5% give me shitty looks, and 5% want to shake my hand for doing it. I don’t give a crap about any of them, my carry piece is for my family and me.

  8. Great article, Dean. Smart marketing for CD’s too. In a tough economy discretionary items like going out for dinner drop off, and businesses who target the responsible gun owners, ie those with disposable income to buy guns and ammo are not just gaining steady revenue and reducing risk to loyal customers and employees at same time, but building brand and a niche that sets them apart.

    The bbq is a nice bonus.

    PS: ditto on the graph- a picture worth a thousand words- this would be a useful continuous display posted somewhere, say Times Square on a prime piece of 100′ high electronic screen – the entertainment value alone watching it drive the progtard anti-gunners nuts would make it worthy… Kickstarter, anyone?

  9. Ahh, free markets! Small individually owned business getting the shunned business big box chains do not want. Open carry embraced. Would love to see more of this! ‘Merica!

  10. Man, The Cajun Experience in Leesburg, VA has been doing this. Get the crawfish mac’n cheese and a sweet tea.

  11. Grafic/state info is incorrect for Nebraska. Open carry has always been legal here, concealed carry was illegal and we now have a shall issue permit for that but you are welcome to open carry almost anywhere without a permit (a couple local communities think they can regulate this but have never been able to prove that in court).

      • It says a lot about the times we live in that the thought of Moscow having less stringent gun laws than Washington, DC, was completely credible. In those two cases, it may in fact be true.

  12. I live in NW Arkansas. It shows that, as of 2013, this state is “unrestricted.” Unfortunately, that’s not 100% true. While we do have “Constitutional carry,” there has been a lot of controversy over that. This new law does say, at least in part, that a person can’t be arrested for carrying a gun unless the law proves intent to use it to do harm, yet a lot of LEOs still insist on arresting those who carry openly, stating the law is not clear enough and subject to interpretation. Personally, I feel we should be allowed open carry. It’s hard to legally hide a firearm when you have to wear shorts and a tank top in the summer. It’s time for Arkansas to join the 21st century. Their reasons for refusing open carry are trite and childish, citing that it looks “scary.”

    • “Personally, I feel that open carry should not be restricted.”

      FIFY. There is no law that “allows” you to open carry. There are only laws that prohibit or restrict it.

    • Not to single any specific individual out, but I was thinking as I read this article that Dean made an excellent case for the positive role OC ‘activism’ has made in the last two decades.

      So, I, too, was wondering what sort of comments would be forthcoming from the anti-OC activists among us. Haven’t seen any yet; maybe they are farther down.

      This article, and it’s background info, stands as a rebuttal to all those (unsubstantiated) claims we get that OC activism, in general, hurts us. There is a correlation between OC efforts and good things happening in legislatures.

      And yeah, that map graphic. Wow.

  13. Good food at CD’s Smoke Pit. I go there frequently, packing my Colt that’s always on me anyway, to enjoy a half pound of smoked pork and beef with a few stuffed and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers.

    For the record, it is completely legal to carry openly and be over the legal drinking limit, i.e., legally intoxicated, in Idaho. This protects the patrons from being arrested for having a beer with their BBQ whilst receiving said 10% discount.

    Ralph: mostly vets and undergrads that eat there.

    GuyfromV: You must have spent a lot of time hanging out by the dorms on campus. The drinking populace has been cracked down on, hard, starting in the 90s.

  14. I live only 8 miles away from Moscow and visit frequently…and I’ve never been to CD’s Smoke Pit. I am bad and wrong, but I promise I will change my ways.

    • Eat with a fork and knife. It may seem sacrilegious, but it will keep your firearm bbq free.

    • Baby steps; we are moving in the right direction.

      However, one could argue that we will never “win” because the day after that map turns all green, some Statist will have the bright idea to start the cycle all over.

      Ever diligent.

  15. WOW! I bet the Mom’s are going to _hit and fall back in it. Great job CD’s, you will not see them in the great state of Idaho. The Mom’s do not have a big present here in Arizona either! Thanks again CD’s.

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