I respect the right of private businesses to determine whether or not they want to have customers carry firearms on their premises. A sign posted on the door of an establishment telling me that they don’t want my firearm inside their establishment lets me know that they don’t want my business, or the business of more than 100 million other Americans.
Where I get irritated is when companies try to play cute, as Cracker Barrel has, with a hidden anti-gun policy that only came to light as they publicly humiliated a man in Dalton, Georgia, who had a revolver on his hip.
Cracker Barrel, welcome to my NFE* list.
A Dalton man says he was asked to leave a Cracker Barrel restaurant when managers spotted him carrying a handgun. He says there was no sign posted stating guns are not allowed on the property. Now he wants answers about why he was asked to leave.
Shane Franks says he went to the Cracker Barrel in Dalton to purchase Mother’s Day cards. He says two managers escorted him out because he was carrying a gun, a gun he believes he had every right to take with him into the building.
This revolver is what triggered managers at the Dalton Cracker Barrel to escort Shane Franks out of the building Monday. Franks says he was legally carrying the gun on his hip when management asked him to leave. “If the business does not want you to carry a firearm, they are asked to make that known,” said Franks.
Franks said there was no sign posted telling him he couldn’t take the gun in until after he returned without the weapon. “When I came back there was a paper sign and place it on there and it said unless you are law enforcement you are not supposed to have a fire arm.”
Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act says it’s legal for licensed gun owners to carry in schools, churches, bars, and even some government buildings. Private businesses have the right to decide if they want guns on their property. “That’s confusing for a law abiding citizen. Thinks he’s obeying the law and walks in, gets cornered in front of everyone for doing what he thinks he is allowed to do.”
When Channel 3 visited Cracker Barrel Friday the makeshift sign was no longer in the window. A manager referred us to a corporate spokesperson, who denied our request for a statement, but a customer service representative tells Channel 3 if a gun is seen on any Cracker Barrel property the owner will be asked to return to their vehicle. Franks says he got a similar response. “It’s our policy no one carries on the premise. I said, you don’t have any signs. He says, well that’s our decision also, we don’t put up signs.”
It’s apparently Cracker Barrel’s policy not to let gun owners know that they are anti-open carry, and then to publicly embarrass open carriers for violating a policy that the company seems to purposefully kept hidden to avoid blowback.
How’s that working out for you now, Cracker Barrel?
* NFE = Not Freaking Ever. People or groups with whom I will not engage in business.