"I'm astounded that this kind of thing can still happen in Virginia - because it's no secret that state law requires open carry in restaurants, it's no secret that open-carry is legal, and it's no secret that people wash their hands before they eat dinner," said Mike Stollenwerk, an Alexandria resident who got caught up in a similar kind of encounter with police in Reston when he and a group of friends, including Yates, sat down for dinner at a Champps restaurant in 2004 with guns strapped to their hips in plain view.
"That was a relatively mild encounter. It was just a little bit dramatic. A bunch of us after shooting had gone to eat at Champps in Reston, and the Fairfax police got called by somebody out in the street. At the end of the day, basically, they came, they saw, and they left. It was played up by The Washington Post as this huge, dramatic incident that illustrated that the General Assembly was out of control by continuing to allow people to open-carry in restaurants - but that was nothing to what it appeared to what they went through," Stollenwerk said.
"The Fairfax County police responded to a man-with-a-gun call. They didn't demand our IDs. They didn't demand or tell us to stay seated. There was none of that. It was a little bit weird - but oh, well, they left. This Staunton thing is, I think, much more intrusive," Stollenwerk told the AFP.
. . .
On the Web
- http://www.opencarry.org [emphasis added]