There is growing anecdotal evidence that the public is not as fearful of firearms as gun prohibitionists contend, as underscored by the national popularity of a “guns welcome” restaurant in Tennessee, an open carry eatery in Colorado, and yesterday’s reports of spiking concealed carry licensing in South Carolina and Kansas.
Yesterday’s report on Fox & Friends about the Shiloh Brew and Chew in Maryville, Tenn., and Monday night’s ABC Nightline report about the Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, Colo., have hit the right chord with people across the country. Reinforcing the notion that more people support the exercise of Second Amendment rights is data from Kansas, where the second-highest number of carry permit applications in the state’s history were filed during the past fiscal year, which ended June 30. The state reported 14,205 applications during FY 2014, a drop from the 25,316 applications during FY 2013.
Kansas has had concealed carry only since 2006, and in that short time, more than 90,000 Kansans have applied for carry licenses. That is a significant number in a state with an estimated population of 2.88 million. Washington, with about 7 million people, reported early this month that more than 461,000 people had concealed pistol licenses.
Likewise, in South Carolina, the State Law Enforcement Division reported that over the past three years, the number of concealed weapons permit applications has doubled. WSAV reported Monday that the number of permit applications “increased from 40, 270 in 2011, to 64, 437 in 2012 and 86, 686 in 2013.”
Yesterday, Shiloh Brew and Chew owner Sharma Floyd told Fox & Friends that her business was on the financial ropes but then she posted her business gun-friendly. Now, no pun intended, business appears to be booming.
The sign in Floyd’s glass door says it all. “Guns are Welcome on premises. Please keep ALL weapons holstered unless need arises. In such case, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.”
Out in Rifle, most of the staff at the Shooters Grill are visibly armed. Proprietor Lauren Boebert told ABC that “It is a very common thing here. We see people open carrying all the time.” Visitors come from all over the map.
She also said this, which is sure to make gun prohibitionists cringe: “I think it should be normal everywhere. I think it should be a common sight. I think we would have a lot less violence if it was.”
Demonstrating the intolerance of anti-gunners, there has been some hate mail sent to Boebert. One letter quoted by ABC stated, “'Hope God punishes you for what you are doing. Hope that you and all of your patrons will kill yourself.”
Here in Washington, during the first six months of this year, the Department of Licensing reported a rise of 11,679 new CPLs. By comparison to Kansas, however, during the months of July 2013 through June of this year, the number of active Evergreen State CPLs climbed by 24,053, and that’s in a Blue State where yesterday anti-gun President Barack Obama visited for two fund raisers that netted an undisclosed amount of cash from wealthy elites.
Many of Seattle’s wealthy elites back Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure being sold ostensibly as a “universal background check” scheme. But rank-and-file law enforcement, represented by at least two state-wide groups – the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) and Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) – both strongly oppose I-594. They support the alternative measure, Initiative 591.