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