Kansas Restaurant Wins Praise and Criticism for ‘Guns Welcome’ Sign

The inspiring, or alternatively offensive, sign. (Photo: Riverside)

A Kansas restaurant chain is getting applause and a bit of negative feedback for their pro-gun policy. The comments come after they updated their Facebook page with a picture of their guns welcome sign.

The Riverside Cafe quickly garnered hundreds of comments and over 1,000 reactions following their post. The Wichita company is getting a lot of new customers for their efforts, but some people say they’ll never come back.

Ironically, the restaurants have had the signs up for more than a decade. It wasn’t until they shared the image that people took note.

“I travel to Wichita twice a month and will patronize your restaurant whenever I’m in town,” said one customer.

“Thank you! We have never been to Riverside Cafe but after seeing this, I think we shall try it out,” reads another comment. “I’ve heard it’s great food!

“Outstanding,” wrote one person. “Glad to see a merchant who understands that law-abiding gun owners and carriers are not the problem.”

A handful of people stated their intent to quit patronizing the business.

“I don’t have an issue with business owners having guns for self protection, I’m a gun owner myself,” said one person. “I have issue with customers being encouraged to carry guns in your establishment. Too much potential for accidents. Even the most trained people have gun accidents, and people who carry in public without training and a permit scare me.”

One patron asked “When you were broken into 16 times and robbed three times with a knife to your face how many customers with guns were there to help? Were you even there the times they broke in?”

“Sounds like you either need to get trained yourself to protect yourself or hire security,” he added. “I doubt many concealed-carry or open-carry patrons truly know how they will react … or whether will have clue where their bullets may go when they miss.”

The signs have been up for 12 years but they’re just now causing a stir. (Photo: Riverside)

The owner defended the policy in clear terms.

“I have been broken in to 16 times, and robbed three times with a knife to my face,” said owner Paul Cohlmia on Facebook. “Thank you for your comments — God bless you.”

“I just don’t want to be a number,” Cohlmia told the Wichita Eagle. “I don’t want to be in that situation ever again. It is scary, and everybody wants to give their two cents, but when it comes down to being robbed, it’s a whole different story.”

See Also: Kansas Gov. Signs Bill Expanding Carry Rights for Public Employees

While most of the comments are positive, some comments negative, a few of them are just hateful.

“Some of it is just flat out telling me I’m a bigot, and they don’t know me,” said Cohlmia. “I have all kinds of friends of all kinds of religions. I’m not going to prove that to anybody, but the proof is in the pudding. I can deal with a lot of stuff and you can’t fight everybody.”

Kansas is a particularly gun-friendly state. Gun owners may carry openly or concealed without any permit or license in most places. The state issues carry permits for residents who want to carry in other states that share reciprocity with Kansas.

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Gary July 1, 2018, 3:28 pm

    BOOYA for the Riverside Cafe AND The Shooters Grill in RIFLE, CO which is gun friendly and whose staff carries while on duty!!
    Got to love FREEDOM and the 2d Amendment. Bless you all
    CARRY ON

  • Mark June 29, 2018, 3:19 pm

    Colorado does one better. In Rifle Colorado there is a restaurant called Shooter’s Grill that not only encourages responsible gun owners to patronize their restaurant, but all the staff are openly carrying. The food is good too. We stop there pretty much every time we are zipping by Rifle along I-70.

  • Rossiter June 29, 2018, 12:23 pm

    Can’t wait to visit Wichita and have several meals at the Riverside Cafe. I will tip heavily as well. Good Show!

  • BRASS June 29, 2018, 11:22 am

    “I don’t have an issue with business owners having guns for self protection, I’m a gun owner myself,” said one person. “I have issue with customers being encouraged to carry guns in your establishment. Too much potential for accidents. Even the most trained people have gun accidents, and people who carry in public without training and a permit scare me.”

    This is the gun owners equivalent of – I have this black/Latino/etc. friend when beginning a statement about how he or she is such a wonderful person but ….

    What this person is really saying is: I don’t trust myself, I’m not competent so you can’t be either.

    To him/her I say: No gun ever fired itself. If you don’t trust yourself or others with guns, you are entirely free not to enter this restaurant. You will feel safer & so will everyone else. No one will miss you. I will be armed w/at least one gun and maybe two, neither of which has ever misbehaved. As for me, I’ve never had an accidental discharge while carrying a gun since 1966 when I first started training with firearms. They are a tool, not a toy, competent responsible people don’t play with them & they don’t go off by themselves. If you don’t feel safe it’s because you don’t trust yourself. Your problem, not mine.

  • Steve June 29, 2018, 8:44 am

    In Manhattan Kansas there is a chiropractor that has the green sign in his door .
    I had never seen one before and I thanked him for doing so.

  • Frank June 29, 2018, 7:33 am

    Nice, what’s for desert?

  • Dr. Strangelove June 29, 2018, 5:15 am

    I can guess what the Red Hen’s (in Lexington) policy on guns is.

  • hANNAbONE June 29, 2018, 5:13 am

    Next Time In Wichita…I getting a meal or 2 at this place.
    and I’ll tip heavily.!!

  • I Love Liberty June 25, 2018, 12:26 am

    I like their sign. If I am ever in Wichita, Kansas I might try their restaurant out.

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