by: Eric Philips Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Across Charlotte and North Carolina, concealed weapon permit holders can carry their handguns into restaurants unless a restaurant posts a sign asking them not to.
This is a big decision for bar and restaurant owners in uptown and all of Charlotte, because no matter which side they choose in this debate they could lose customers.
The owner of Cafe Monte in south Charlotte said he always has his customers' safety in mind, so he will be one of the restaurants that will post a sign prohibiting weapons.
"I am a gun owner, and I enjoy my rights as a gun owner, but I also feel like I have a responsibility as a restaurant owner where families and children and alcohol are being served," owner Monte Smith said.
Members of the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America applaud that action.
Suzanne Conway said she and others in the group are going to restaurants across the state urging them to post signs saying "No guns allowed."
"The more I learned about how easy it is to get a concealed weapon permit in NC the more distressing it is for me to think that I'm going to walk into a restaurant and somebody's going to be in there with a weapon," Conway said..
Paul Valone is with Grass Roots North Carolina. He and other concealed weapons supporters who have been working for years to expand the concealed carry law to restaurants say getting a concealed carry permit is a rigorous process.
"Our opposition is fond of saying that guns and alcohol don't mix. We agree, that is why concealed permit gun holders are prohibited from consuming alcohol and always have been," Valone said.
Both sides are compiling lists of restaurants that will and won't allow concealed weapons, but for two very different reasons. They are visiting restaurants to see where they stand on this new law so they can inform thousands of supporters caught in between are owners who are hoping to preserve as much business as possible in the process.