Gun Owners Exercise Right To Carry Openly At Owasso Restaurant

Thursday, November 1st 2012, 6:41 pm
By: News On 6

Thursday is the first day Oklahomans with gun permits can carry their weapons openly and many chose to do so.

About two dozen folks with their guns on display ate lunch at Trail's End Barbeque in Owasso Thursday.

Currently, 142,000 Oklahomans are licensed to carry firearms and many of them have been taking their gun into public for years. The difference now is, they can make the guns visible, if they so choose.

At Trail's End, customers sitting around those with guns in open view, seemed to take it pretty much in stride.

10/31/2012 Related Story: With Open Carry Now Legal, Oklahoma Businesses Have Decision To Make"

Business was hopping at there in Owasso, partly because of the large group of people who wanted a place they could eat, while openly carrying firearms on the first day of Oklahoma's new law.

The owner says he decided posting a "no guns" sign would discriminate against people who now have a legal right to do this. He said he doesn't expect his decision to cause much trouble.

We've got a pretty conservative, down-to-earth, American type clientele, so I don't think they will have a problem with it," said restaurant owner John Cash.

Not all of his customers agree. At one table, a man, who came from Germany said he didn't like the idea.

"It's irritating, honestly. I don't feel comfortable having guns around me," Martin Rostalsky said. "I go to the shooting range with these guys and that's fine with me, but don't like seeing it at a restaurant."

His buddies feel differently.

"I personally don't have a problem with it. I think they should allow us to carry a larger caliber," said Roy Lischinski

"I think for some people it will take a lot of getting used to, but people who own guns—I don't have a problem with it," James Anderson said.

9/27/2012 Related Story: Open Carry Group Hopes To Educate Oklahomans About New Law

The folks who are carrying are professionals and citizens, who believe carrying openly will deter crime and that people will quickly see it's not a big deal.

They also plan to seek out businesses that don't post "no guns" signs.

"Those gun signs have no benefit for safety whatsoever," said Brian Hull, of the Oklahoma Open Carry Association. "Criminals are not going to pay any attention to them and people like me and the rest of us—we're not criminals, we don't commit crimes."

Businesses don't have to post "no gun" signs. They can simply tell you they don't want you carrying openly.

The law doesn't allow people to carry anything larger than a .45-caliber and an officer can approach and ask to see your permit at any time, so anyone carrying needs to have that on them.