With the passing of a bill this summer, Maine became one of a handful of states to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit. As Reuters noted, L.D. 652 eliminated "the permit requirement for any resident over 21 years old who is not already prohibited from owning a firearm." In response, Sargentville restaurant El El Frijoles announced in a lengthy "rant" on Facebook that it and sister establishment Dudley's Refresher in Castine "are gun-free zones."
Conceding that Maine is "a very safe, non-violent place to live," the restaurant opined, "It is hard to think that allowing anyone 21 or older (or 18 in some cases) to carry a loaded, concealed firearm is going to make any sort of positive impact on our society." El El Frijoles insists that customers "do not bring a loaded firearm into our restaurants (unless you are a sworn peace officer and are required to do so) if you want to eat."
In the comments, the restaurant elaborated on its original statement, admitting the difficulty of knowing if someone is carrying a weapon if it's concealed and the unclear legality of prohibiting such a thing, as well as linking to Bangor Daily News coverage of Portland's police chief speaking against the new law. Naturally, the business has fielded mixed responses from commenters, telling one angry customer, "The last thing I want to do is alienate anyone, we just think that un-trained, un-licensed amateurs with concealed guns have no place in our Taqueria or at our snack bar."
Elsewhere in the world of firearms, Eater reports that Indiana restaurant Papa Roux is taking a different tack, offering a 25% discount to customers with concealed carry permits after a recent robbery by a man claiming to have a gun. The argument that more guns will equal better protection is a common one among supporters of relaxed gun laws; El El Frijoles responded to one such commenter on its page incredulously: "Are you seriously suggesting that arming more people will result in fewer murders? This is certainly not born out by the facts."
Know of any other restaurants taking bold stances on gun laws? Share in the comments.