June 15th, 2008 12:09 PM
Asked to leave Baja Bean Co., Richmond, VA last night
Virginia law requires open carry into any business selling alcohol for on-premises consumption. Also, signage means nothing, but if an employee asks you to leave, you must do so or face trespassing charges.
Normally, I discretely open carry when I am forced into a situation where I would rather go into said ABC-on business than deny others of my presence and leave. And yes, I am that entertaining.
Tonight, I lent my bike to my brother since he picked up a nail in the rear tire of his today. It started raining off and on, so I called him and told him I'd come pick up him and my bike with my pickup. I was/am carrying my SW1911 in a Mernickle PS-6 with two spare mags on the off-side. I got into Richmond at about 2230 and loaded the bike in the bed and he said he was going back into the BAJA BEAN Co. bar across the street to finish his pint he'd gotten since I had come to pick up him. So I go in with him, get carded at the door, I was standing there talking to my brother for a minute when a guy I went to college with and worked with named Sean showed up and started talking to me. The girl doing the carding said, "I've never held a real gun before, can I hold yours?" I said, "Sorry, but no, it's not a toy."
A little back and forth, I start talking to my friend again, some guy who was the manager comes up and says (he doesn't even know what he's talking about), "Maybe the laws have recently changed and you can carry a gun into a bar, but our policy requires anyone who isn't an on-duty police officer or undercover cop to leave their guns outside." I calmly replied, "The law hasn't changed, it's been legal to openly carry a pistol into a bar, only concealed carry is illegal."
"Well, its for the safety of everyone because if someone does something crazy, and I'm not saying you will, but someone else in here..."
"Alright, see you later Sean," and walked out. I didn't want another NoVa incident, especially with the RPD the way they are. I had totally expected that all along, so for some reason I wasn't even mad. I tried calling Sean to tell him why I left and I won't give any of my money to an un-American business which thinks it can usurp my ability to defend myself. My brother comes out about a minute later and he is fuming about my getting kicked out (I used to get kicked out of bars all the time for having too much fun, not for exercising my 2A rights).
I am already drafting a letter to the owner of Baja Bean Co., Gov. Timothy Kaine (who vetoed a law allowing CHP holders in the Commonwealth to CC into an ABC-on without drinking and a useless clause about notifying an "authorised employee"), and the Virginia Citizen's Defense League. I don't expect much.
Feel free to let them know how you feel.
"On the UVA Corner"
1327 West Main Street
Near the intersection of 14th Street and W. Main Street. On the UVA Corner.
Free parking with validation.
2291 Seminole Lane
Across from Sam's Club
9 West Beverley St
At the corner of Augusta and Beverley Street, in Historic Downtown Staunton.
Plenty of free parking.
1520 West Main Street
At the corner of W. Main and Lombardy, in the Fan. Only five blocks from VCU.
Free on-site parking.
Here's the letter I'm about to send, let me know if you can think of anything else to add which would help us.
The two letters to which I refer:
Ron Morse, Owner of Baja Bean Co.
Sarah Lynch, Staunton Managing Partner
Jeff Allums, Richmond Managing Partner
Ryan Koontz, Richmond Assistant Manager
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
National Rifle Association of America
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
PO. Box 513
Newington, VA 22122
Dear Sirs and Madams,
I was present at Baja Bean Co., located at 1520 West Main Street in Richmond at about 2245 the evening of 14 June, 2008. I had come inside only to spend a few minutes while waiting for a (now former) patron of your establishment. I was carded and given a wristband by a young, red-headed woman. At the time, I was carrying a defensive pistol openly, as is required by Code of Virginia, as is our right as law-abiding citizens, and as is my duty as a concealed handgun permit holder. Please see the attached letter regarding open carry of pistols in ABC-on premises from Law Enforcement Bureau Director S. Christopher Curtis and the letter regarding the legality of open carry from Legal Specialist Thomas J. Lambert of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The young woman asked me if she could hold the loaded gun in my holster, a request to which I declined to acquiesce. A college acquaintance of mine noticed my presence and came up to me and greeted me while I was explaining to the young woman why I would not hand over a loaded weapon to a complete stranger.
As I was chatting, a blond, short-haired, stocky man wearing a red shirt came up to me and informed me other patrons and employees asked him about me. He proceeded to tell me of a vague and misinformed policy requiring anyone who is not an on-duty or undercover officer to leave weapons outside. He stated, "The law may have recently changed and you can carry a weapon into a bar, but our policy requires anyone who isn't an on-duty officer or undercover cop to leave their weapons outside."
I calmly informed him the laws hadn't changed, as evidenced by the 2002 letter cited above, and it is only illegal to carry a concealed weapon into a bar.
His response was, "Well, if someone does something crazy, and I'm not saying you would, but if somebody else does, it's a policy for the safety of everybody..."
I calmly said,"All right," bid farewell to my perplexed acquaintance, and went outside to my vehicle. The former patron I was waiting for came outside and was extremely upset at having our night ruined.
This type of discrimination is no less unforgiveable or misinfomed than asking a person wearing a crucifix, a star of David, or a crescent moon because it might offend a person and might start a fight and someone may "do something crazy". There are many other dangerous items already present in a bar.
I respect and admire the right of Baja Bean Co. as an independent establishment to create rules for the safety of your patrons and employees; however, I will not tolerate anti-Constitutional, anti-American, totalitarian, misinformed, and unpatriotic policies, nor will I support any business enforcing such policies. I respectfully request you review your policies as the only people who are being kept safe are protential criminals who have no regard for any law. I have undergone extensive background checks and undertaken extensive training in the use and retention of defensive firearms to obtain a concealed handgun permit. I feel I have been discriminated against unfairly by your policies and was indirectly classified as "mentally unstable" by your employee. Please know this letter is being forwarded to the Virginia Citizen's Defense League and National Rifle Association along with the office of Governor Timothy Kaine. Neither I nor more than 150, 000 other concealed handgun permit holders in the Commonwealth of Virginia will patronize Baja Bean Co. until your policies regarding open carry are changed to allow law-abiding citizens to openly carry firearms in accordance with Virginia Code and your employees informed of such a change to Baja Bean Co.'s policies.
Thank you for your time and quick response to my concerns.
United States Citizen
Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
June 15th, 2008 12:27 PM
I think it would be an idiotic law indeed that would require open carry as opposed to concealed carry in a bar. Isn't that just asking for trouble? Who on earth dreams up this kind of lunacy?
June 15th, 2008 12:34 PM
The business made their choice, and you made yours... and that is that.
June 15th, 2008 12:37 PM
And I'm only informing others so they can make wiser choices.
Originally Posted by SIXTO
Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
June 15th, 2008 12:38 PM
Lawyers aka state legislature makes or "sells" this "kind of lunacy".
Personally, guns and alcohol can make for a potentially hazardous mix. Remember, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people".
Originally Posted by wmhawth
June 15th, 2008 12:39 PM
Actually VA does not require open carry in an alcohol-serving venue; open carry is permitted. VA prohibits concealed carry in such places. I agree with you that this prohibition is not good. Luckily we don't have any statutory alcohol-related concealed carry prohibitions here in CO. However, businesses can prohibit all carry, just like the offending manager mentioned above.
Originally Posted by wmhawth
June 15th, 2008 12:41 PM
Juggernaut...I can't believe it...barely out of FL and already you're causing problems...
Nice letter though...good luck!
The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member[/B]
June 15th, 2008 01:05 PM
And certainly, a business has every right to prohibit all carry. I fail to see how prohibiting concealed carry while allowing open carry would be of any benefit. Seems it would be conducive to a "wild west" atmosphere.
Originally Posted by Anubis
June 15th, 2008 01:19 PM
While I understand your sentiments, I think they might see through your claim to be speaking for 150,000 other CHP holders in your State.
As to the descriptions in your letter, names are always better than a physical description. And as to describing the young lady's interest in your firearm, only thing I see that accomplishing is potentially getting her in trouble with the higher ups. If she's attractive and you're single, might've been better to offer to take her shooting.... just a thought....
Open carry is a two edged sword. But when asked to leave (if the law allows for this), best to harbor no attitude. Simply leave, send a polite letter (again, sans attitude) and make others aware (like you're doing here). If attitude gets involved, then it just detracts from all CHP holders.
Regards, T Bone.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".
June 15th, 2008 01:35 PM
I think you might win your battle...but lose the war. I think one wins no converts and/or support by pressing to test. I think that is what your ultimate goal was. I agree with Sixto.
June 15th, 2008 01:36 PM
Never been to Baja Bean Co. and now have a reason not to go. Only resturant here in the Richmond area I have ever seen posted is the TGI Fridays at Short Pump. Haven't checked any of the others around the area for posting. Everyplace else the wife and I go to I open carry and have never had anyone say anything to me. Chili's, Applebee's. Ruby Tuesday, Outback, Texas Roadhouse, Lone Star, Topeka and Olive Garden don't post and either have never noticed or if they have don't say anything about it.
June 15th, 2008 02:08 PM
I think you are missing the point here. Unlike most other states, Virginia law requires that a permit holder carry his firearm openly in an establishment that serves alcohol for on-premises consumption. The OP had no choice if he were to carry there. I suspect he was not trying to prove anything other than that he was obeying the law. In Virginia's case, it is not an open-carry/concealed-carry choice. It's the law.
Originally Posted by bandit383
And, of course, as others have noted, the establishment has every right to set its own policies, and others have every right to patronize them or not accordingly.
If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772
NRA Benefactor Life
Tennessee Firearms Association Life
June 15th, 2008 03:44 PM
Sorry...no point missed. I'll quote from the original post: "Normally, I discretely open carry when I am forced into a situation where I would rather go into said ABC-on business than deny others of my presence and leave."
Originally Posted by falcon1
I'm not sure what "discretely" means...open carry is anything but discrete. I also think there was an expectation/likelihood that the outcome was going to be the result. As for choice...there was a choice.
June 15th, 2008 04:10 PM
Open carry is an unfortunate way of life here in Virginia, if you are going to carry in an establishment that serves alcohol. Not an option to conceal carry as in Oklahoma, who allows CC as long as the major purpose of the establishment is the sales of alcohol. Yes there was a choice, open carry or go unarmed. I, like the OP, choose to open carry rather than be defenseless.
June 15th, 2008 06:22 PM
When I go into a Va restaurant, the way I carry I also consider it 'discrete'.....I don't draw attention to it or myself.
Originally Posted by bandit383
I keep my gun side away from the staff as i walk to the table & keep my elbow down to obscure it's view from other patrons as I go to the table. I try & sit in a booth with my strong side inside, so as not to scare the sheeple.
I'm not looking to make a statement....I'm trying to eat. This is a big pain in the you know what, to have to deal with the 'Va tuck' & un-concealing a firearm just due to there being booze on the premises.
Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper
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