Texas restaurant chain Whataburger has chosen not to allow customers to openly carry firearms on its premises, defying a new Texas state law that allows residents to do so in many public areas beginning in January 2016.
“As a representative of Whataburger, I want you to know we proudly serve the gun rights community,” CEO Preston Atkinson wrote in a letter to the public, noting that the chain will continue to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.
“I personally enjoy hunting and also have my concealed carry license, as do others at Whataburger.”
However, Atkinson wrote, “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’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.”