The debate over open-carry gun laws, citizens' rights, and restaurants continues: A man in Jackson, Mississippi is claiming his rights were violated when he was kicked out of a restaurant for carrying a firearm.
According to WAPT, Ryan Phillips went to pick up takeout from a restaurant called Sam’s Southern Eatery, accompanied by his .40 caliber Smith & Wesson. This didn't sit well with a Jackson police officer on the premises, who apparently told him to take his gun outside.
Phillips posted a video of the altercation with the officer to his personal Facebook page. In the video, Phillips says that there's no sign prohibiting guns inside the restaurant and insists that he's well within his rights to carry his firearm there.
The restaurant's manager tells WAPT that although there are no signs inside the restaurant explaining their no-guns policy, they've instructed local police that no citizens are allowed to carry firearms on the premises.
Mississippi's open-carry gun law went into effect back in 2013, and citizens are not required to have a permit. While it's recommended that restaurants and other businesses who do not wish to have citizens carrying firearms inside their establishments post appropriate signage, police say that in the absence of a sign, businesses can simply tell people firearms aren't allowed and ask them to leave. If they refuse to comply, they can then be charged with trespassing.
Meanwhile in Texas, where a new open-carry law went into effect January 1, restaurants are currently grappling with how to handle the issue. While many restaurateurs are opting to prohibit guns inside their establishments, others are actively encouraging their patrons to take advantage of the new law, and even offering discounts to customers who do so.