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MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Since the new year ushered in a new open-carry law in Texas, restaurant owners have had a decision to make. Some say they don’t want holstered guns visible in their stores.
Any private business can opt out of open carry; they just have to post a sign on their door in English and Spanish. It’s a debate that has both sides of the issue up in arms.
Local Yocal in McKinney sells grass-fed beef and local food products; catering to proud gun owners.
Owner Matt Hamilton said his store is “open carry welcome,” which means licensed gun owners can carry their weapons in plain view.
“You’ve been background checked. You have been trained. You have been certified. You know the law,” said Hamilton.
He believes open carry is a simple and logical extension of the concealed carry laws. And as a business owner, he thinks it promotes safety.
“If that were to deter a criminal from coming into our store — knowing that we are not a gun-free zone, then I am more than okay with that,” he said.
At Maple and Motor in Dallas, Owner Jack Perkins said the decision to opt out was easy.
“Open carry is at least an implied threat, if not an overt threat,” he said. “The truth is, I believe in the second amendment. But I just don’t see a good reason for us to carry our guns outside our clothes.”
He said he believes prohibiting open carry will help business.
“I think a lot of people knowing they’re not going to have to worry about seeing the wild west on display might come,” he said.
To Matt Hamilton, his only complaint is that it didn’t happen sooner.
“Shame on us for being the 45th state to have this and not the first,” he said.
Dozens of local restaurants have opted out of local carry. Both restaurant owners said they have not seen an openly-carried weapon since the law went into effect.
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