Over the past year hear at Bearing Arms we’ve noted a number of stories where local businesses have taken a lot of grief from their customers for posting signing banning the carry of firearms in their establishments, such as a pub in South Carolina.

Obviously, posting stores against carrying guns has had a negative impact in these instances. But what happens when you post a pro-gun sign?

A restaurant in east Tennessee posted the following sign, and their business went up.

Gun control is a hot topic across the country, and one East Tennessee restaurant owner is making her opinion very clear by posting a ‘Guns are Welcome’ sign on the front door of her family-friendly establishment.

“As the owner, I wanted to stand my ground. I have that constitutional right. If you like it, that’s great, if you don’t, I’m sorry for you. I can’t change who I am,” said Sharma Floyd, with Shiloh Brew and Chew.

Floyd said she posted the signs about a month ago after reading a story out of North Carolina.

“They had put up a sign that said ‘No Weapons Allowed’ and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The convenience store manager was shot,” said Floyd. “And that got me thinking. I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn’t allow weapons. But I believe it’s ok to carry as long as you have a permit.”

Floyd said Shiloh Brew and Chew is often confused as a bar or tobacco store instead of a Southern style restaurant.

“Brew is for coffee, chew is for food. So in my mind, my concept all went together. But after I made a $3,000 sign and paid for it, I realized that was not a good marketing idea,” laughed Floyd. “But the ‘Guns are Welcome’ signs have helped boost business.”

She said while one man said he would not come back to her establishment, more than 20 new customers have come through her doors since she posted the signs on three doors.

“I can honestly say I’ve gotten way more support than the one person who really gave me a lot of grief over it,” said Floyd.

It is probably true that location and type of establishment has a great deal to do with the success of the Brew and Chew’s sign. Maryville, near Knoxville, is a relatively rural part of the south in a state that is considered pro-gun, and which caters to an audience that is more likely to be accepting of the message than not. The same sign posted in rabidly anti-gun San Francisco might cause not just a decline in business, but shrieking, hysterical protests.

Floyd understood her audience, and I suspect that other businesses in pro-gun areas might find similar success if they post similar pro-gun messaging.