Whataburger: ‘Yes to Concealed Carry, No to Open,’ Right Call?

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Whataburger, have you eaten there? (Photo:  Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)

Whataburger, have you eaten there? (Photo: Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)

Whataburger, I’ve never eaten there, but I heard it’s pretty good. If we’re talking fast-food burgers, it’s hard to beat In-N-Out burger in my book. ‘Double Double,’ extra cheese with a side of pickles from In-N-Out is about as good as it gets as far as burgers go. Anyways, we’re not talking bout grilled ground beef we’re taking about guns in businesses and Whataburger’s recent statement clarifying its stance on both open and concealed carry.

Personally, I think they got it right. But more on that in a minute. Here is what Preston Atkinson, Whataburger President and CEO, had to say on the matter on July 2, 2015:

There’s been a lot of talk the past couple weeks about Whataburger’s open carry policy, and I wanted to reach out to personally explain our position.

Whataburger supports customers’ Second Amendment rights and we respect your group’s position, but we haven’t allowed the open carry of firearms in our restaurants for a long time (although we have not prohibited licensed conceal carry). It’s a business decision we made a long time ago and have stood by, and I think it’s important you know why.

But first, as a representative of Whataburger, I want you to know we proudly serve the gun rights community. I personally enjoy hunting and also have my concealed carry license, as do others at Whataburger.

From a business standpoint, though, we have to think about how open carry impacts our 34,000+ employees and millions of customers. We serve customers from all walks of life at more than 780 locations, 24 hours a day, in 10 states and we’re known for a family friendly atmosphere that customers have come to expect from us. We’re the gathering spot for Little League teams, church groups and high school kids after football games.

We’ve had many customers and employees tell us they’re uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm who is not a member of law enforcement, and as a business, we have to listen and value that feedback in the same way we value yours. We have a responsibility to make sure everyone who walks into our restaurants feels comfortable. For that reason, we don’t restrict licensed concealed carry but do ask customers not to open carry in our restaurants.

As a company serving customers with many different viewpoints, we’re sometimes caught in the middle on controversial issues like this one. We hope you and your members, along with our other friends in the gun rights community, understand our position and will continue to visit us. We appreciate your business. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Preston Atkinson
Whataburger President and CEO

Open carry supporters may be upset by this decision as their mission is to normalize open carry in public. And if a Texas-based like Whataburger prohibits open carry in its more than 700 stores across the U.S., advocates will no longer be able to use it as a meeting place to spread the gospel of open carry in an effort to win hearts and minds.

On some level, I sympathize with this way of thinking. The more businesses that close their doors to open carriers, the more difficult it will be to convince folks that open carry is normal.

Yet, open carry advocates also have to acknowledge that Whataburger isn’t saying no to firearms, just open carry. Whataburger is not a gun-free zone. It’s an open-carry free zone. There’s a difference.

Sure, it’s not the ideal situation. Ideally, Whataburger would permit both open and concealed, but the reality is that they are a profit-driven business that has to compromise a bit on its pro-gun politics in order to appease its anti-gun customers. From my perspective, I can’t hold this calculated decision against Whataburger (though I do believe complaints from customers regarding open carry are probably overblown). To stay in business, to make money in this country, unfortunately there are times when we have to put profits over our personal politics.

What are your thoughts? Do you think they made the right call?

{ 73 comments… add one }
  • gary June 23, 2017, 11:10 am

    Yet another old article, but, I agree in a way, Open Carry does make a lot of people fearful, but they need to get over it. trust me if they really like the what-a-burger they will only stay away a week or two for the most part. Then their taste buds will get the best of them and they will be back. Not only that but, you would have one the safest store in town. It would like the Glock commercial where the guy come in the restaurant to rob it and is full of Police Officers.

  • Jerry Hardy December 16, 2016, 2:08 pm

    Real simple solution, take no action to protect those complaining and be sure to let them know that you will sacrifice them should the need arise for you to protect everyone else.

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  • Melissa July 15, 2016, 8:35 pm

    I think they made the right call. While personally I am not opposed to open carry and would not try to stop someone else from doing so, I have seen anti gunners call the police on someone open carrying. It is rare, but it does happen. Plus they have to serve both pro gunners and anti gunners in a family friendly atmosphere.

  • Steve G July 27, 2015, 1:51 pm

    I carry both concealed and openly as is appropriate at the time. All of you “tactical” surprise artists would probably never be able to draw your weapon from your shirt before the threat disabled you. You often hear people who have been attacked say “I never had a chance or there was no time”. A few years ago I needed to use an outdoor ATM in an area I never should have been in but i had no other option at the time. There were two individuals parked out front and who were sitting on the hood of their car. They began watching me as soon as I drove up so I sat for 5 or 10 minutes and waited for them to leave. Of course they didn’t so I went ahead and strapped on my weapon for all to see. I got out of my vehicle and used the bank machine. My wife said they never once took their eyes off me……but they also kept their distance. Think about it, criminals are lazy they don’t want a confrontation they feed on the weak and the last thing they’ll do is “take out the guy with the gun first”.

  • Vernon Rosa July 21, 2015, 8:01 am

    Open carry is not necessary, and is provocative. It is an “in-your-face” challenge to those who have to find something to rail against. I carry concealed everywhere I go. I am ready at any time to protect myself, my family or even strangers if necessary. If I carried openly, my chance at surprising the bad guy would be severely minimized. I believe that the people who are forcing the police to check them out by carrying ARs and AKs over their shoulders, or carrying a 6″ M29 in a thigh holster, while walking city streets, then refusing to identify themselves just because the law in some jurisdictions doesn’t require them to do so are hurting the cause of 2A proponents, not enhancing it. ID yourself and let the cops know you are exercising your rights. Be cooperative rather than confrontational. You’ll get your point across much better.

  • HWP July 19, 2015, 12:38 am

    I appreciate Starbuck’s position — just follow local laws. they seem to have survived attempts to take them hostage to “my law not the law” just fine.

  • Lou Fisher July 17, 2015, 11:04 am

    Who cares what I think! — In Florida’s Supreme court a current ruling was made that if there is a case where a concealed
    carrying person as much as brandishes a gun to ward off trouble, they must prove there innocence or face 20 years in
    jail — The proof of guilt has been switched from the state to the individual on ‘standing their ground’ – Open carry or
    concealed is a mute point if you are guilty until you can prove you are withing your rights —

    • Charles Eirk February 9, 2017, 9:01 pm

      It’s a moot point

  • Big Dan July 15, 2015, 6:13 pm

    I’ve carried in 4 of the 5 states I have lived in. NRA life member, crertidied NRA instructor pisst & shotgun. It still makes me nervous seeing open carry in town. Unfortunately some of my friends go out looking like they crawled out of a army surplus reject store. My opinion. So I have no issue with eating the best. Burger ever.
    Dress like the upstanding person and let that 1911 be your secret

  • Larry Koehn July 14, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I have carried concealed for 30 years and I don’t like open carry. I think that anyone legal to own a gun should be able to carry it concealed without a license but open carry belongs out on the range not places where guns freak stupid people out!

  • Al July 14, 2015, 1:56 pm

    Open carry in public is wrong because you are the first target of a robber.
    Even trained law enforcement officers are occasionally shot w/ their own firearm.

    Accidentally printed or momentarily exposed firearms must not be a violation for C W L holders. The laws must be amended.

  • Bob July 14, 2015, 1:09 pm

    No to open carry goes way back to the wild west days. Even Wyatt Earp made people hang up their guns when the got to Dodge city. A few years ago Arizona, which certainly has lax gun laws inlcuding open carry, required people to turn in their guns as they entered restaurants and bars.
    IMO, the only reason to have open carry is for when you accidently expose or “print” your concealed carry weapon.

  • steve hammill July 14, 2015, 11:26 am

    A reasonable decision. During hunting season, the long gun stays in the truck, but the handgun stays in the holster. I cover up the gun, but it’s not really concealed because the bottom of the holster shows. No one has ever noticed the firearm.

  • Tommy D July 14, 2015, 11:24 am

    I love seeing open carry in my Home Depot, Lowes, etc.. But I do understand certain businesses preferring not to allow open carry but still allowing concealed carry. Like the writer of the article stated ” businesses are profit driven and at least Whattaburger is pro gun”, they just want to stay in business. Let’s be honest, most places aren’t pro gun and they definitely wouldn’t have bothered writing the eloquent letter explaining their stance. By getting upset over this you are just giving others a reason to say we are over the top or too fanatical. Life is a balance of give and take, this was a great time for a little giving. It’s better to lose the battle and win the war. Great job by this writer and by Whattaburger ( I love them along with fresh White Castle). Man, now I’m hungry.

  • Juan C Farias July 14, 2015, 10:55 am

    I agree with Whataburger. They need to keep all customers satisfied.
    I have a Concealed carry license, but I agree that many people are uncomfortable with open carry as in the beginning when it is implemented, many persons will feel uncomfortable in the presence of an open carry gun.
    I am very comfortable with guns, but if I see someone in a restaurant with a gun I will be very alert and may not eat in comfort, as I have been present during an altercation with weapons in a restaurant.
    Now if you are at a grocery or hardware store where you are walking around and someone is displaying that is a very different situation and not a problem for me.
    I think that in time people will become accustomed to open carry and then it will not be an issue.
    I believe it is unwise to exhibit your weapon in public as it removes the element of surprise and a coward or criminal will not make a frontal attack or confrontation.
    My experience has been that it is better to carry your weapon discreetly and if you have to pull it , use it , don’t make speeches or hesitate.
    Also , Whataburger has the best burgers in Texas and it is like the family restaurant to most Texans .

  • Newell D Anderson July 14, 2015, 12:25 am

    Open Carry was passed to keep over zelous LE’s from arresting folks that inadvertently exposed there guns! It was not intended for Cowboys!! That is an unintended cosiquince of the law.
    Further if Whata-Burger doesn’t like the law, why don’t they go to the Leguslature & change it? I’m a customer of What-a-burger, but I’m fed up with folks that think the law doesn’t apply to me!

  • KUETSA July 13, 2015, 11:48 pm

    Yea, don’t ask – don’t tell – carry everywhere!

  • Chuck July 13, 2015, 8:01 pm

    My wife and I have been CCW permit holders for many years. We love the food and will not let this
    effect our patronage. We do not carry openly as I believe this takes away the surprise element.
    Over 60 and bad guys beware!!!

  • Lee Kramer July 13, 2015, 7:53 pm

    As the saying goes, “opinions are like a**holes everybody has one.” Reviewing the majority of comments I suppose I need to be my contrary self as usual. I really don’t have problem with Whataburger’s decision based on economics. But I too have an economic decision that tells me I don’t have to do business with them or other businesses that are like minded. Period! If they can afford it in the long run more power to them. Still I noticed one comment that stated they feared anyone carrying a firearm in open who wasn’t in uniform. OK, fair enough, but as long as I can recall I often fear these uniformed servants they appear to trust implicitly. With this common attitude of superiority rather than as the servants they are supposed to, not as our masters. These days especially I perceive them to be just that as the account show them routinely. Yet in Kansas where I live I see normal everyday people carrying a firearm on their side as I often do too (I also have a CCL). I just ofter prefer to carry open for a number of different reasons. Interestingly I recently had a neighbor child ask me about the gun on my hip. At first his question caught me a little off guard. But my first instinctive response to that boy’s question was, “well because I can!” A week later I caught up with this boy and his father at their home, because his question continued to provoke my thinking. I further clarified the point of his question. I stated that, “there are bad people all around us even in our small town and when it isn’t always obvious.” As long as they see my gun they have to wonder if I’d be willing to to use it in self defense. I further commented that, “I’d never knowingly allow a anybody to hurt him or his family if it were in my ability to prevent it. And that too is why I carry this gun in the open or concealed.” This boy never showed or expressed any fear of me or my firearm. He was just curious. The only things I find alarming are tyrannical government and the short-sighted people that cluelessly continue to accept it.

  • Mark Prohaska July 13, 2015, 7:13 pm

    A business barring open or concealed carry as long as it is legal in their state should face the same punishment and public pressure as a business (in this case a bakery) for refusing to cater to same sex marriages based on their beliefs. When both are legal why should a business be able to pick and choose which liberties to allow through their door because the management believes one way or the other is better for the cliental. If a gay married gun carrying couple walked through my door I would ask “How may I help you?” I may not agree with one or more of their life choices but I most certainly respect them. What I am trying to get across is that a business should not have to make a choice as to who they will allow in their establishment and who they won’t. They should be respected for following the law and not infringing on peoples rights.

  • Jerry Vance July 13, 2015, 6:38 pm

    Personally on the open carry issue I believe it is an essential aspect to reducing crime. Let’s face it ” If a “BAD GUY” goes into a business with Crime On His Mind and see’s one or two or many firearms being openly carried , don’t you think he is going to have second thought’s about committing that crime ? Of course he will ! Open Carry in general has a positive effect on crime prevention wherever it is practiced. Because of my belief in OUR 2nd Amendment Rights, I have often been asked “What Kind Of Preacher Are You “? My response is” The Kind That Is Not Going To Stand By and Allow Evil To Prevail”.

  • Alberto H. Soto July 13, 2015, 4:38 pm

    I’ve been licensed since 2005 and I have carried concealed since 2010. Open carry is not legal in Puerto Rico but even if it was I would NEVER do it! Like other members said, the open carrier would be the first to get shot so the criminal can go on and about his business! If one carries concealed, there is a higher chance of defending yourself/others. At this time we just had a victory against the government when a judge declared around 5 articles of our over restrictive gun law unconstitutional but the government will appeal. They did not oppose same sex marriage (another constitutional right). We demand the same respect and treatment too !!

  • DWard July 13, 2015, 2:46 pm

    I sometimes wonder if anyone really understands what “shall not infringe’ means. To infringe means to act so as to limit or undermine. While we should be responsible, shall not infringe means NO laws, NO ordinances, NO restriction of any kind against the right. Any such law or ordinance is unconstitutional. While it is good to honor a businesses desire not to openly show a weapon, it cannot be a law or an ordinance and not break the constitution. I conceal carry and would not open carry for obvious safety reasons, but I have no right to restrict or infringe on anyone elses right to do so if they wish. Nor do you.

  • SteveA July 13, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Luckily there are no whataburgers here in NC, so I don’t have to bother going in and ezplaining why I won’t be patronizing their business.
    It IS a property rights issue however it also is an infringement of my rights, so I will just take my business elsewhere.

  • DragonRider July 13, 2015, 11:30 am

    I am in complete agreement with Whataburger and commend them on establishing such a reasonable policy. I am not a proponent of open carry, not even in principle, but I do practice concealed carry for personal protection. Anyone who practices open carry makes himself or herself a target because a criminal intent on doing harm will try to take them out for being a potential deterrent to their plans. I also believe that open carry is not the best policy for the American public in general — unless the threat of terrorism gets a lot greater. This just my personal opinion, but I believe it is reasonable.

    • DWard July 13, 2015, 4:10 pm

      You do not support open carry so it is understandable why you are in agreement. But then it is also understandable why an open carry supporter would not agree with it. While a business owners position on gun carry should be respected by any who carry, open or concealed, the problem with this is that there are unconstitutional laws that would have the open carry individual arrested if he/she did not ‘respect’ the business owners wishes, and that is what is wrong. Respect the opinion and position, yes, and if a business does not want guns on premise, fine, don’t go in; but there should be no law concerning guns in the deal.

  • Allen Benge July 13, 2015, 11:22 am

    Why is it right to limit my Second Amendment rights due to some weak sister getting a case of the vapors when they see another citizen legally following the law? Isn’t it simpler to educate those idiots who are frightened of a firearm than necessitate me changing my life style so as not to offend them? There is nothing in the constitution of the United States about freedom from being offended, but there sure as hell is something about my right to defend myself, if needs be. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Many states are what we refer to as Open Carry States, where it is perfectly legal to carry a sidearm, and stated in the song, “Pancho and Lefty,” “For all the honest world to see.” Now I prefer Concealed Carry, but that is a tactical decision based on my training and experience as a former peace officer. The thing about seeing someone armed and not a police officer is pure crap, it is nothing but a lousy excuse for wanting to rule other people’s lives. Why is my firearm a threat, while an LEO’s is not? I have had much more training than most officers, and in thrity years plus of carrying a sidearm, I have never, ever shot another person, even though I had the training to do so if the situation warranted it. I have seen articles on the news and in the papers where police officers have shot people for not good reason, so why is my gun a threat, while theirs are not? Whataburger joins Harbor Freight Tools, Starbucks, Tuesday Morning and other businesses in not getting any of my money. I will vote with my wallet and only deal with companies who respect my Second Amendment rights. Preston Atkinson sounds like the name of one of those people who would wet themselves if they ever got within five feet of a firearm. He need some time ay Front Sight Resort to learn the straight scoop on firearms. He is not stupid, or he would not be a CEO of a big company, but he is ignorant. Ignorance can be cured with education, but as Ron White says so eloquently, “You can’t fix stupid.”

    • Choctaw Bob July 13, 2015, 7:21 pm

      Allen, most of these cry babies aren’t even Texans so they can only mouth off on line. The real Texans get to vote at Whataburger with our wallets. Atkinson will get to keep or loose his job based upon their P&L sheet.
      Its just a guess but I think he would have been better served by just keeping his mouth shut if he was really concerned about his customers instead of the one customer he was trying to impress. Since the law doesn’t take effect until January 1, 2016, he could have waited until then to gage the effect the law will have on business. As it is, only the anti gun crowd would be interested in getting the jump on the general public. As some have stated, Texas was just one of a few States that doesn’t allow open carry of hand guns. No state has melted down in gun fights over this law.
      When these businesses have lost enough money, they will correct the decision. Some will have lost too much to ever recover. Whataburger used to be a privately held company in Corpus Christie. If it still is, it is likely this decision will be moderated before long.

  • Chris Hagood July 13, 2015, 10:52 am

    I think it was a good decision. I’m not a fan of open carry due to you show your cards. I don’t have gun related stickers on my cars and I don’t wear shirts with gun stuff on them . “In my opinion it takes away the surprise element in a bad situation. If people want to open carry it’s their right but businesses have a right to restrict it “in my opinion”. I think we as gun owners and conceal carriers put out a bad vibe when you walk around with an AR over your shoulder or a 1911 on your hip. “In my opinion” you are just trying to intimidate other people and that’s not what carrying a gun is about “in my opinion”. It’s about protecting you and your family from bad people.

    • Kensandyeggo July 13, 2015, 11:36 am

      As a concealed carrier, I agree 100%. Well said.

      • BigC July 13, 2015, 1:19 pm

        Agreed; open carry on private property or while hunting, LICENSED concealed carry otherwise!

  • Bill July 13, 2015, 10:25 am

    As a former business I respect whataburger stand. When your dealing with the public you have to be flexiable. If you want to be hard headed and not give in your profit margin will drop and that what rules the world.

    • Willy July 13, 2015, 4:03 pm

      No biggie, If you don’t like it (No OC or CC only or what ever) go someplace else. Make a stand for what you believe in. In fact more of America should make a stand for what they believe. Isn’t that what it is all about. The stores has rights just like we do. No hard feeling.

  • Scott July 13, 2015, 10:12 am

    Personally I am not for open carry. I have a CCW and always carry. I think this company got it right. They are not in business to push any agenda other than “making a profit” and open carry will certainly offend some and consequently cost the company profits. I think they have taken the middle road and I applaud them for the use of common sense.

  • Scott July 13, 2015, 10:11 am

    Personally I am not for open carry. I have a CCW and always carry. I think this company got it right. They are not in business to push any agenda other than “making a profit” and open carry will certainly offend some and consequently cost the company profits. I think they have taken the middle road and I applaud them for the use of common sense.

  • Don July 13, 2015, 10:02 am

    When it comes to burgers, there is not better if the fast food arena and I have probably tried them all. I have lived all over the US and the world and when I came home to visit family my first stop was at Whataburger and usually the last stop before flying back out.

    S.H. you will have to look far and wide to ever find anyone who is more of a 2nd Amend supporter and I got that from my father who lived thru the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. I too am retired military, Infantry soldier and combat Vet.

    I got my first gun at age 5 and started carrying open in my early teens. We lived out in the country, raised horses, had barns and fencing. There was always a gun near as we had no shortage of rattlesnakes and cotton mouths from the lake on our property. We carried to protect our livestock and ourselves.

    Open carry means just that, Open for all the world to see. It does not mean open in someone else’s home, a place of business or anywhere else that is under control by someone besides you. If someone does not welcome me in their home or place of business with a gun in open, I respect that. My rights start with me and stop when they encounter yours, my right to open carry does not trump your right to set the standard for your business or home. Whataburger allows concealed carry and that is fine. If I don’t like it I can find another place to eat (NOT likely).

    We still need to respect the rights of others…

  • Don July 13, 2015, 10:00 am

    When it comes to burgers, there is not better if the fast food arena and I have probably tried them all. I have lived all over the US and the world and when I came home to visit family my first stop was at Whataburger and usually the last stop before flying back out.

    S.H. you will have to look far and wide to ever find anyone who is more of a 2nd Amend supporter and I got that from my father who lived thru the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. I too am retired military, Infantry soldier and combat Vet.

    I got my first gun at age 5 and started carrying open in my early teens. We lived out in the country, raised horses, had barns and fencing. There was always a gun near as we had no shortage of rattlesnakes and cotton mouths from the lake on our property. We carried to protect our livestock and ourselves.

    Open carry means just that, Open for all the world to see. It does not mean open in someone else’s home, a place of business or anywhere else that is under control by someone besides you. If someone does not welcome me in their home or place of business with a gun in open, I respect that. My rights start with me and stop when they encounter yours, my right to open carry does not trump your right to set the standard for your business or home. Whataburger allows concealed carry and that is fine. If I don’t like it I can find another place to eat (NOT likely).

    We still need to respect the rights of others…

  • Stephen Challis July 13, 2015, 9:48 am

    Whataburger have made their decision based on business reasons. Whether you like it or not there are more non gun owners than owners and as their CEO says this is a family business. The fact that CCW holders recieve training and are aware of state laws .is a bonus that i am sure was not lost on the policy makers. That is no reflection on the non CCW holders but their training,is not mandatory,therefore Whataburger cannot guarantee customers safety.
    I have eaten there and agree they serve a great burger.

    • oldshooter July 13, 2015, 11:54 am

      First off I’m calling BS on their statement that they have heard from many customers who would be put off or not go there, if they allowed Open carry. This is TX, and that is not something that would be likely to have even been discussed by anyone other than anti-gun activists like the MDA crowd. No one else would likely to bring it up. Further, the Open Carry TX guys (open carrying long guns during the past 2 years of so) were very, very popular here in TX (despite the national press propaganda to the contrary), and it is probably more likely that Whataburger customers, if actually polled, would have shown more of them to be in favor of open carry of handguns than opposed.
      Then there is their idiotic comment about serving kids and families: There is NO reason to think that kids or families would be upset or change their eating habits if they saw people carrying guns in the local Whataburger, nor that they would be in any increased danger (nor even that many customers would erroneously THINK they were).
      Further, here in TX, open carry is only going to be legal for those who have concealed handgun licenses. So what difference would it make whether or not you could SEE the person’s handgun? The only difference that would impact customers, is for those with an irrational fear of guns. I’d suggest that most Texans do not suffer from such a phobia (except maybe in Austin), and they would quickly become used to seeing guns carried in public, just like the citizens of AK, AZ, WY, SD, and other states are.
      I’ve been a customer of Whataburger for years, ever since my wife used to work for them in the late 1970s and early ’80s. I will now have to make a point of going in and telling them that I’m not going to eat there anymore because they are supporting the anti-rights crowd. I suspect many more who feel as I do, will also tell them so. THEN we’ll find out just what their customers ACTUALLY think of open carry. The reason they don’t ban concealed carry, is probably because doing so would cost them a lot of business, and I think they will discover the same thing will be true about banning open carry.

  • Stephen Challis July 13, 2015, 9:47 am

    Whataburger have made their decision based on business reasons. Whether you like it or not there are more non gun owners than owners and as their CEO says this is a family business. The fact that CCW holders recieve training and are aware of state laws .is a bonus that i am sure was not lost on the policy makers. That is no reflection on the non CCW holders but their training,is not mandatory,therefore Whataburger cannot guarantee customers safety.
    I have eaten there and agree they serve a great burger.

  • Joe July 13, 2015, 9:47 am

    If you have to make a decision on something political/moral that will affect tens of thousands of people every day, you just have to do what you think is best. This is still the USA and if I don’t want to make your wedding cake because you’re gay, that’s my decision and that’s all. Welcome to a FREE country, the United States of America.

  • Joe July 13, 2015, 9:45 am

    If you have to make a decision on something political/moral that will affect tens of thousands of people every day, you just have to do what you think is best. This is still the USA and if I don’t want to make your wedding cake because you’re gay, that’s my decision and that’s all. Welcome to a FREE country, the United States of America.

  • Joe July 13, 2015, 9:45 am

    If you have to make a decision on something political/moral that will affect tens of thousands of people every day, you just have to do what you think is best. This is still the USA and if I don’t want to make your wedding cake because you’re gay, that’s my decision and that’s all. Welcome to a FREE country, the United States of America.

  • Huckleberry Muckleroy July 13, 2015, 9:42 am

    I concur with the president of Whataburger, which any Texas chauvinist will tell you can out-burger anyone. His concern is not just for the sensibilities of some of his customer. It is also about money, because the customers that feel threatened by open carry can get their burgers elsewhere.
    While open carry can be philosophically justified by going out on a logical limb, it is seldom practical in an urban setting except as gross overcompensation for a small penis.
    I don’t even concealed carry into a home unless I know that the folks who live there know and approve. One of my favorite stores is Sprouts. They have great fresh food and prices. They also have a “thirty-ought-six” (no concealed carry) notice at the door. There are forum threads promoting a boycott of Sprouts. I will not participate because I believe that the hallmark of responsible gun rights is to respect the Rights of others.

  • Andries July 13, 2015, 9:32 am

    It is a good business decision. Their explanation is based on logic as there is more strategic value in concealed carry. Open carry is even expressed by many as a “statement” and those words already create discomfort with some. When one is sure of yourself and your character and live an “understated” disposition we do not need to make a loud statements of who and what we are. When the moment of truth arrives the concealed carrier almost unseeingly slips into action and act and save the situation. The criminal will always be less prepared for that.

    Carrying a sidearm should have only one goal and that is for “protection” of the carrier and for the community. Once that is legal MANY, MANY more people will carry their sidearms, we’ll have better protection on the streets and malls. THAT must be our objective.

  • joe bob July 13, 2015, 9:17 am

    How do these panic-stricken customers know who’s out of uniform law enforcement and who’s not?

    Do they wet themselves if a plain clothes detective walks by?

    I don’t actually believe anyone gets upset about open carry, it’s just politics.

    • willy July 13, 2015, 3:53 pm

      Yes they do have greatest Hamburgers. Living in KS I get a chance every once in awhile and when that happens I get the best hamburger on the planet.

  • Glock_10 July 13, 2015, 7:57 am

    They got it right. They also make the best hamburger on the Planet…..

  • jondarmes July 13, 2015, 6:47 am

    I understand why they did it. In their place, dealing with the public as they do, I would do the same. I can open carry in this state and do not. Concealed carry bestows an edge that is lost with open carry. If you assume that the felons you are likely to have problems with are armed, is it wise to open carry so they know who to shoot first?? The best weapon you possess is your mind, so fight smarter, don’t let them see it coming, odds are you walk away, they don’t. That is the object of the exercise.

  • ed anderson July 13, 2015, 6:35 am

    ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT CALL! I THOROUGHLY SUPPORT THE 2ND AMENDMENT BUT ALSO
    FEEL EXACTLY THE WAY THESE PEOPLE DO. OPEN CARRY MAKES ME VERY NERVOUS. I
    ALSO STRONGLY SUPPORT CONCEALED CARRY EVERYWHERE AND THINK IT MAKES THE
    BAD GUYS A LITTLE MORE HESITANT TO DO SOMETHING WRONG WHEN THEY KNOW SOMEONE
    IS GOING TO BE PACKING, BUT WHO!?

  • ed anderson July 13, 2015, 6:35 am

    ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT CALL! I THOROUGHLY SUPPORT THE 2ND AMENDMENT BUT ALSO
    FEEL EXACTLY THE WAY THESE PEOPLE DO. OPEN CARRY MAKES ME VERY NERVOUS. I
    ALSO STRONGLY SUPPORT CONCEALED CARRY EVERYWHERE AND THINK IT MAKES THE
    BAD GUYS A LITTLE MORE HESITANT TO DO SOMETHING WRONG WHEN THEY KNOW SOMEONE
    IS GOING TO BE PACKING, BUT WHO!?

  • Eric July 13, 2015, 6:26 am

    Whataburger puts forth a reasonable argument for not allowing open carry and is within their right to do so. We, second amendment supporters, have shouted from the rooftops for years to allow us our right to carry firearms for personal protection. From a strategic personal defense point of view (bad guy sees you with open carry gun you are the first one to get shot) conceal carry offers the best option for your safety. Lets get real here, walking through an airport with an AR15 slung over your back is not about defending yourself, you want to make a statement, not a wise decision. Bringing an open carry gun into a hamburger joint is not about defense, you want people to look, to bring attention to yourself and that makes you a target should something bad happen.
    The legal posted speed limit on an ice and snow covered highway may be 70 mph but you know it is not reasonable and prudent to do so and there are instances where open carry is not reasonable and prudent either.

  • Eric July 13, 2015, 6:25 am

    Whataburger puts forth a reasonable argument for not allowing open carry and is within their right to do so. We, second amendment supporters, have shouted from the rooftops for years to allow us our right to carry firearms for personal protection. From a strategic personal defense point of view (bad guy sees you with open carry gun you are the first one to get shot) conceal carry offers the best option for your safety. Lets get real here, walking through an airport with an AR15 slung over your back is not about defending yourself, you want to make a statement, not a wise decision. Bringing an open carry gun into a hamburger joint is not about defense, you want people to look, to bring attention to yourself and that makes you a target should something bad happen.
    The legal posted speed limit on an ice and snow covered highway may be 70 mph but you know it is not reasonable and prudent to do so and there are instances where open carry is not reasonable and prudent either.

  • bimmerland July 13, 2015, 6:03 am

    If open carry make people uncomfortable and could potentially impact business I believe it’s a wise business decision. If OCers don’t like it don’t patronize the place.

  • bimmerland July 13, 2015, 6:02 am

    If open carry make people uncomfortable and could potentially impact business I believe it’s a wise business decision. If OCers don’t like it don’t patronize the place.

  • Dr. Strangelove July 13, 2015, 5:17 am

    It’s their right as a business. I can eat there or not, it’s my decision. When the government steps in, then I have a problem.

  • Disgruntled Postman July 13, 2015, 3:37 am

    everybody screams property rights up until the property owner doesn’t allow whatever activity the advocate wants

    hold your meeting somewhere else if the merchant won’t allow you to open carry… or conceal your firearm and then hold your meeting

  • DRAINO July 10, 2015, 8:50 am

    Uh…what’s wrong with following the local laws governing open carry….???? Why can’t they do what Kroger did? It’s simple, easy to remember, easier to enforce (within their stores). Not saying they got it right, but they could have made a worse decision.

    • Paul Brooker July 13, 2015, 4:53 am

      They got it right. A concealed weapon is much more effective and no one needs to wonder who the crazy with the gun

      • TPSnodgrass July 13, 2015, 12:44 pm

        Cheers for Whataburger! It IS as good as In-N-Out only far different. Nice break between the two.
        Hardcore supporter of legal concealed carry here. Open carry in the field while hunting I’ve zero problem with. Most of the “open carry advocates” I’ve dealt with in law enforcement in California are unable to defend themselves from basic gun grabs besides, the “Gomer-Pyle-School-of-Concealed-Carry” flat out works against thugs.(Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!)
        All humor aside, if your local jurisdiction allows for open carry, fine, DON”T SCREW IT UP FOR EVERYONE by not having the slightest inkling or no training on weapons retention training, or in wearing cheap crap to carry your handgun! All of you “tacti-cool” wannabees wearing thigh rigs have no idea of when and wear those are appropriate.
        Exercise your Second Amendment Rights, respectfully people. Respect private property rights or the Entitlement Brigades will call for a revocation of private property ownership and demand we all live on collective farms.

    • Patrick July 13, 2015, 8:15 am

      I do not understand the need for open carry, if I was out and about with the intention to create havoc, the first of my targets would be the person dumb enough to advertise he was armed and busy doing something other than paying attention to his surroundings.

      Concealed carry is a deterrent, open carry makes you a target, how stupid.

      • SteveA July 13, 2015, 2:10 pm

        Just why do you(& a lot of other) concealed carry idiots seem to think every open carry person is just walking around with their heads in the air, not paying attention to anything?
        God, I F’n hate idiots like you.

      • willy July 13, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Pat you have been reading to many BS stories. Think about an armed robber robbing a store and first thing is to take out ever one that is open carrying. Dumb. I am not against either carry. And I conceal also. What people don’t know won’t hurt them. I am happy and so are they. And if Whata Burger wants band girl scout cookies or whatever it is their business.

    • Steve July 13, 2015, 8:47 am

      Exactly and right on target. If you want to stay out of politics and controversy, then stay out of politics. Kroger gets it right. Follow the state law. State law is supposed to reflect the will of the people who live in that state.

    • Steve July 13, 2015, 8:50 am

      Exactly and right on target. If you want to stay out of politics and controversy, then stay out of politics. Kroger gets it right. Follow the state law. State law is supposed to reflect the will of the people who live in that state.

    • Mike Dupuis July 14, 2015, 9:03 am

      In “Juraisic Park”, Jeff Goldblum’s character asks the park owner, “You have been so focused on if you could, you never asked if you should.” We gun owners declare ourselves to be responsible and law abiding citizens, yet open carry pokes a stick is many peoples’ eye and screams to them that we are irresponsible. We are in a public relations war with those who would disarm us. Open carry is a public relations incendiary – it fuels the resolve of those who want to “get guns off the streets”. Let’s not be our own worst public relations enemy. Be discrete. Carry. But don’t do so in a manner that flagrantly arouses the passions of our opponents and helps move those neutral to the wrong point of view. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

      • DRAINO July 14, 2015, 8:42 pm

        But then there are times you should. Like when its a right. If you don’t exercise your rights you will loose them. We have been to panzie-fied. We have to be SO politically correct that we are even giving up our God given rights. Use it or Loose it. You know that’s true…..history has proven it numerous times. But…………respecting/concerning current laws…If you can open carry, then do so if you choose…..whatever the local laws are follow them. Kroger did it best for everyone…..You can’t argue that. And you may have to be political(or it may appear you are) if you stand up for what you believe in.

      • Mario July 15, 2015, 10:29 am

        All of you stupid men and women making ignorant comments, travel out of your village or where ever you live and go out west where very seldom you see someone open carry in stores or shopping centers.

        What a burger is doing a ploy to get more business, not from me but from idiots like you.

        • Nick July 17, 2015, 12:35 pm

          Mario, I live in AZ (out west, as you say)…I see at least one open carry per week, and I don’t go out much. I normally just go to and from work. I see folks carrying in the gas station, at the grocery store, on the street, getting in and out of their car…pretty much everywhere. But that is one of the nice things about AZ…it is a constitutional carry state. I personally would rather conceal, as then you have the element of surprise in your favor.

          • Steve July 27, 2015, 1:58 pm

            Nick, in AZ you can carry concealed without a ccw. That law was passed in AZ back in July 29, 2010 and signed by the Gov at that time, who was Brewer. Az is a “Gun Friendly” state and has the people’s interests more so than “Lobbyist” anti-gun controlling establishment. Also it’s true Mario, There are more and more people that open carry when they don’t have too. It’s their right, much like it’s your right to say what you want to say in these comments. Also Villages? Really, here in AZ we live in cities and towns not “Villages”. Get it right Mario (aka TRUCK BOY).

    • Ken Jones July 14, 2015, 5:49 pm

      Seems like a rational position to me.

    • Ret. A.F. July 16, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Open carry is provacative and is not necessary. Just because “you can” doesn’t mean it’s the correct, common sense thing to do. Carry concealed and IF you ever need your weapon then do what is necessary. Flaunting a “right” does not mean it’s always the smart thing to do. And yes, I’ve carried for many years. I applaud my 2A rights and do so with common sense and will apply my rights in a way that makes good common sense. Wha’t’s the point of open carry? So you can show the world..”look at me” I have a gun on my hip!” So what…my friend. Not that impressive. Bad guys carry them concealed for short time anyway…..good guys need to carry them concealed until…you MAY have to save your own life, a family member or someone in dire need of your help. That’s what it’s all about….exercising your 2A rights. I don’t want anyone to know I’m carrying unless the day would ever come that I had to prove that I am. I don’t want that to happen…but, if necessary I will.

      Open carry advoactes make it very hard for supporters of the 2A and for those that have carry licenses to continue to be viable in this country. MOST of America does NOT want to see you flaunting your weapon. Have some class, exercise your right by concealed carry and those that “hate us all” will not have more reason to hate us.

      Thank you!

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