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Thread: 1st post - OC in Scranton story

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    I line in Scranton just South of Throop and I have been CCing for the past year (yes, I have a LtCF). I've just recently started carrying my Glock19 in OC - This is my story...

    One of my favourite places to satisfy the rumbly in the tumbly is a pizza place on the Boulevard. The owner and his family are great people, I've really come to like them a lot. On this particular first day of OC, I stopped in for a late lunch.

    I have gotten in the unconscious habit of parking myself in the corner table of eateries facing the door. In this establishment, this left my right side open to the public eye. I didn't notice any weird looks or anything, and the visit seemed uneventful.

    Today I went back for a Dinner visit. The owner saw me enter the lot with my car and met meoutside the front door. He told me that the last time I visited, he received complaints that I was carrying a gun in the resteraunt... kids were present... blah blah... Would I mind leaving my gun in the car?

    We talked. I didn't really want to get into a legal rights / moral obligation arguement at the door. I looked distressed, looked at my car a lot, and asked him if he was asking me not to carry inside at all, or whether he was asking me to keep it concealed if I did?He seemed to prefer the former, and I finally gave in. I really didn't like it. Thoughts were going through my head about how bad the neighborhood is, how guilty I would feel if something had occurred and I had given in. etc etc. I also had thoughts though about how I liked this guy, and if my OCing was going to cost him business, that I didn't really have the right. When I asked the owner about CC vs no carry, I also mentioned that I might just have to get my orders to-go from then on. That may end up being the case. Note: He was REALLY nice about it. I could tell that he didn't feel right asking, and that he'd already thought a lot on this before coming to me. I felt bad for him.

    Any suggestions? I've been reading the legal statutes for people arguing OC with LEOs, but that really isn't the issue here. I'd like to convince him, but I can't justify him losing business over it. If it was his house and he asked me to not bring in a gun, that I wouldn't take issue, but this is a public area with a drug house a block over and armed bank robberies a few times a month to pay for addictions.It's only a matter of time beforesomeone in my circle is affected, and I want to make damned sure that ifI'm there, I can prevent anyharm.

    -Dave in Scranton

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    Sounds like you two had an orderly and polite business conversation. Kudos to both of you for that. Good to read thattheproblem eventwas resolved amicably, though dissatisfyingly.



    sydcomebak wrote:
    The owner ....told me that the last time I visited, he received complaints that I was carrying a gun in the resteraunt... kids were present... blah blah... Would I mind leaving my gun in the car?

    I could tell that he didn't feel right asking, and that he'd already thought a lot on this before coming to me. I felt bad for him.
    I like your acknowledgment that the owner must've thought a lot about the problem. Your doing so validates his concerns and potential concerns. This is unlike many others in the same situation who simply paint the owner/manager prohibitorwith a broad brush, deprecating the guy in simplist terms. Let's face it, the owner has some skin in the game. So the question must come up:

    What if the pizzeria owner is correct and OC is neither good for the store's customersnor for his business?

    If the answer is yes, then the picture clears up pretty quickly.


    sydcomebak wrote:
    Any suggestions? I've been reading the legal statutes for people arguing OC with LEOs, but that really isn't the issue here. I'd like to convince him, but I can't justify him losing business over it. If it was his house and he asked me to not bring in a gun, that I wouldn't take issue, but this is a public area with a drug house a block over and armed bank robberies a few times a month to pay for addictions.It's only a matter of time beforesomeone in my circle is affected, and I want to make damned sure that ifI'm there, I can prevent anyharm.
    You sound like a reasonable guy. I think you understand both sides of the problem well. If the location is so dangerous, then consider going to a safer pizza joint.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing that real-life dilemma.

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    ralphb72 wrote:
    Dear Dave in Scranton. Good morning, and welcome to the forum. Yes, you are so right, it's his place. If it were me, he could keep his to go orders. I would write him a nice letter explaining why you carry and tell him that if he insist that you must become an unarmed victim in his place, you will no longer be doing business there, and will make sure your like-minded people who refuse to be victims know about his stance. I would make sure he knew that He will loose my business because of his stance. Seriously, the only place I go that I can't carry is to my job and to my kids school, if I didn't have to go to those two places, I wouldn't.
    IMHO, that seems the best solution.

    Another idea to pass along in the letter, perhaps: Some places of business put up a "No guns allowed" sign. Since it seems like the business owner here is more concerned about making his customers comfortable rather than banning guns, he could put up a sign at the front door to ease peoples' tensions, perhaps something like "This establishment adheres to Pennsylvania state laws regarding the lawful carry of firearms in public," maybe followed by the relevant statutes. I'm no psychologist, but I think a statement like that at the front door would 1) let people know that firearm carry IS legal (they may think it isn't); 2) paint the business owner as neutral, since all he's doing is applying the same laws that apply to other public places to his restaurant; and 3) demonstrate that lawful handgun carry is a norm, not an aberration.

    To me, someone who would complain about an openly carried gun falls into one or more of three categories: people who hate guns, people who are scared of guns, and people who think that carrying a gun is illegal. It's seems to me that showing a sign like that would comfort all but the wackiest in those three groups, and would result in the owner's losing little to no business, when factoring in that his gun-carrying patrons would still remain there. But either way, with his current policy, and with OC expanding, he'll be losing business one way or the other, either to the anti-gun crowd, or to the pro-gun crowd. He just needs to decide whether he'd rather have his business populated by sheep, or by lawful gun-carrying citizens.

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    imperialism2024 wrote
    Another idea to pass along in the letter, perhaps: Some places of business put up a "No guns allowed" sign. Since it seems like the business owner here is more concerned about making his customers comfortable rather than banning guns, he could put up a sign at the front door to ease peoples' tensions, perhaps something like "This establishment adheres to Pennsylvania state laws regarding the lawful carry of firearms in public," maybe followed by the relevant statutes. I'm no psychologist, but I think a statement like that at the front door would 1) let people know that firearm carry IS legal (they may think it isn't); 2) paint the business owner as neutral, since all he's doing is applying the same laws that apply to other public places to his restaurant; and 3) demonstrate that lawful handgun carry is a norm, not an aberration.

    To me, someone who would complain about an openly carried gun falls into one or more of three categories: people who hate guns, people who are scared of guns, and people who think that carrying a gun is illegal. It's seems to me that showing a sign like that would comfort all but the wackiest in those three groups, and would result in the owner's losing little to no business, when factoring in that his gun-carrying patrons would still remain there. But either way, with his current policy, and with OC expanding, he'll be losing business one way or the other, either to the anti-gun crowd, or to the pro-gun crowd. He just needs to decide whether he'd rather have his business populated by sheep, or by lawful gun-carrying citizens.
    +1.

    The first paragraph is an excellent suggestion that would allow the owner to clarify things without stating agreement on either side of the issue.

    The second paragraph is exactly what I was thinking: It's not a matter of will he lose business or not, it's who's business will be lost. He's the owner, it's his right to make that decision.

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    :?
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    How about suggest to the owner that he put a sign to the effect: "lawful firearms welcome":celebrate. That way customers that are squeemish around guns have fair warning.

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    Since you like the food at this restaurant AND you have a permit and offered to CC, another solution is to just CC while you eat there. If your weapon is truly concealed AND you are in deed willing to CC, then no one would know the diffference. The other part of the issue is that if this pizza place is so dangerous, why expose yourself and your family to danger. Find another good pizza place that is less dangerous.

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    You could suggest to him what I do when someone here at the gym for example is concealing, and then his or her shirt moves etc. and the gun shows and you get the person come up and say "He has a gun on him"

    I simply just tell the customer. "Yea he/she's ok." and if they enquire more about it "I can't really talk about what he/she does." that usually makes them feel at ease.

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    Skuggi wrote:
    You could suggest to him what I do when someone here at the gym for example is concealing, and then his or her shirt moves etc. and the gun shows and you get the person come up and say "He has a gun on him"

    I simply just tell the customer. "Yea he/she's ok." and if they enquire more about it "I can't really talk about what he/she does." that usually makes them feel at ease.
    That is an excellent point! If you are known to the owner/operator, he could easily state "you’re OK" or you and your family are upstanding citizens! If that does not ease the misgivings of the complainant then maybe the owner should suggest that they do not eat there if they feel uncomfortable knowing firearms are present OC or CC!
    In this case the owner seems a little (or a lot) inconsistent with his policy. That may cost him customers from both sides.


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    This is the letter that I plan on giving to the restaurant owner tomorrow. Let me know what you think.


    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    ((Name of establishment kept out))

    RE: Conversation on the evening of 8/25/2007

    This letter is to clear up and resolve any and all issues surrounding the problems you had with your customers on August 25th following my legal open carry of a firearm in yours restaurant on that day. I have included several documents with this letter, and I will explain each in time.

    First off, there is no legal debate here, and I know that you understand this, but I want to give you as much information as I can. The first included document is titled “Facts About Open Carry.” This outlines all legal issues surrounding the Open carrying of firearms in the state of Pennsylvania. Once again, I know that the discussion was not about the legality of my carrying a firearm in your restaurant, but the uneasiness of your customers when I did.

    My reasons for carrying aren’t the issue either, although I feel that the way our conversation went, you questioned why I felt the need to carry and you mentioned that you would “keep me safe.” No offense, truly, but there is enough violent and armed crime in this area that the Police can’t actually keep people safe from it. I winder how you planned on keeping me safe should a situation arise in your establishment that was outside of your control. We both read the paper and we know that armed robberies are happening all over the Lackawanna County area. Banks, stores, malls, & restaurants have all been victims in the last 6 months, and all occurred here. I’ve included 2 articles from the Times Tribune that are of people living on Boulevard Avenue ((This street))that have been involved in drug-related, or violent crime in the past few months.

    I’d rather that you not have to lose anyone’s business. I enjoy coming in, and I think that we have established a good rapport. What you need to do is take a very clear stance on your feelings of people carrying firearms in your place. ANYONE over the age of 18 can carry openly in PA if they aren’t prohibited to do so by law. Anyone who chooses to do so may walk into your place. If you decide that you do not want people to carry, you need to decide whether to take a proactive stance or a reactive stance. The proactive would be to post a sign that states that you do not allow the carry of firearms in your establishment. The reactive is to privately ask every person who carries a firearm in to politely leave their firearm in their car, or take it back home in the case of walk-ins. I have included

    On the other hand, you could choose to embrace the lawful carrying of firearms and take a proactive or reactive stance on dealing with customers who might be uneasy about someone exercising their legal right. The proactive is to post a notice along the lines of, "This establishment adheres to Pennsylvania state laws regarding the lawful carry of firearms in public." This allows you to inform people that firearm carry a legal right and that it’s the norm, not an aberration. It also paints your establishment as neutral as all you are doing is abiding by state laws. The reactive stance is to allow people to carry and if someone has a complaint, you can take them aside and simply state “oh, I know him/her, they’re OK” or if you feel more is necessary, you can choose to go further and explain Pennsylvania law to them.

    Unfortunately, any time people choose to side with or against anything, people are turned off or away by it. I stated in our August 25th conversation that I will carry concealed if you would rather me not have my firearm visible in your place. I have decided long before this that because of my personal beliefs and life experiences that I will not ever find myself in a situation where I am hindered in my right to defend my own life or property, nor those of others. Consequently, I ask that you make a decision, inform me of it, and follow through regarding this issue. Please let me know whether you allow open carry, concealed carry, or no carry in your establishment. I will abide by any decision you make, and adjust my patronage accordingly.

    I have included2 articles, the first isentitled “Heroic Consequences – Questions to ask yourself before going in defense of others.” The second is "Defensive Tactics - Surrender, strike back, or use lethal force?"These area very good articles that outline what a person must ask himself or herself before they decide to carry.I already am aware of the legal and moral consequences of any actions in the defense of myself or another. Even with all of those things in mind, I carry a firearm at work, to the store, and out to eat. It is my right, and it is my choice.


    Be well, and I’ll see you when my belly is empty.

    -David P.

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    While I know you didn't explicitly ask for it, I did some editing and typo fixing. I tried to eliminate phrasing that could have come across wrong if read incorrectly, and clarified a few points, but tried to use as much of the original wording and sentiment as possible. Now I really must be getting to sleep...

    ((Name of establishment kept out))

    RE: Conversation on the evening of 8/25/2007

    This letter is an attempt to clarify and resolve any and all issues surrounding the problems you had with your customers on August 25th following my legal open carry of a firearm in your restaurant on that day. I have included several documents with this letter, and I will explain each in time.

    First, there is no legal debate here. I know that you understand this, but I want to give you as much information as I can. The first included document is titled “Facts About Open Carry.” This outlines all legal issues surrounding the open carrying of firearms in the state of Pennsylvania, even though I know our discussion focused on the uneasiness of your customers.

    My reasons for carrying aren’t the issue either, although I feel that the way our conversation went, you questioned why I felt the need to carry. You mentioned that you would, “Keep me safe.” Unfortunately, there is enough violent and armed crime in this area that even the police cannot actually keep people safe from it, and there is ample evidence to support this. We both read the paper and we know that armed robberies are happening all over the Lackawanna County area. Local, near-by banks, stores, malls, and restaurants have all been victims in the last 6 months. I’ve included 2 articles from the Times Tribune that are about people living on Boulevard Avenue. These people, right on this street, have been involved in drug-related, or violent crime in the past few months.

    I have included 2 articles, the first is entitled “Heroic Consequences – Questions to ask yourself before going in defense of others.” The second is "Defensive Tactics - Surrender, strike back, or use lethal force?" These are a very good articles that outline what a person must ask himself or herself before they decide to carry. I already am aware of the legal and moral consequences of any actions in the defense of myself or another. Even with all of those things in mind, I carry a firearm at work, to the store, and out to eat. It is my right, and it is my choice.

    I’d rather that you not have to lose anyone’s business. I enjoy coming in, and I think that we have established a good rapport. However, it is essential that you take a very clear stance on your feelings of people carrying firearms in your business. Anyone over the age of 18 can carry openly in Pennsylvania if they aren’t prohibited to do so by law. This creates a problem, as anyone who chooses to do so may walk into your place. If you decide that you do not want people to carry, you need to decide whether to take a proactive stance or a reactive stance. The proactive would be to post a sign that states that you do not allow the carry of firearms in your establishment. The reactive is to privately but politely ask every person who carries a firearm to leave his or her firearm in the car, or take it back home in the case of walk-ins. I have included

    On the other hand if, after reading the enclosed material, you choose to permit the lawful carrying of firearms, you can take either a proactive or reactive stance on dealing with those customers who might be uneasy about visible firearms. The proactive is to post a notice along the lines of, "This establishment adheres to Pennsylvania state laws regarding the lawful carry of firearms in public." This allows you to inform people that firearm carry is a legal right and that it is a norm, not an aberration. It also paints your establishment as neutral, as all you are doing is abiding by state laws. The reactive stance is to allow people to carry and if someone has a complaint, take them aside and tell them that you allow said person to carry, simply stating, “Oh, I know him/her, they’re OK.” Or if you feel more is necessary, you can choose to go further and explain Pennsylvania law to them.

    Unfortunately, any time people choose to side with or against anything, others are turned away. I stated in our August 25th conversation that I will carry concealed if you would rather my firearm not be visible in your place. This is due to my decision long before this that, because of my personal beliefs and life experiences, I will not ever find myself in a situation where I am hindered in my right to defend my own life or property, nor those of others. Consequently, I ask that you make a decision, inform me of it, and follow through regarding this issue. Please let me know whether you allow open carry, concealed carry, or no carry in your establishment. I will abide by any decision you make, and adjust my patronage accordingly.

    Be well, and I’ll see you when my belly is empty.

    -David P.

    Edited to add: Forgot to mention that it's a great letter, addressing the relevant issues in a way that's sympathetic to the feelings of the restaurant owner.

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    Thanks for the comments, Imperialism2024.

    I really like the owner and he's always treated me well. As I stated in a previous post, I could tell that the whole situation was very troubling for him. Unfortunately he had to try and figure out how to not lose any business in this situation.

    He was hoping that it wouldn't be a big deal for me to change my ways and that he could keep both of us as customers.

    It's really sad that whoever made this complaint was so ill informed of PA law and rights of the law-abiding. That's really the issue here.

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    sydcomebak wrote:
    It's really sad that whoever made this complaint was so ill informed of PA law and rights of the law-abiding. That's really the issue here.
    I agree with that and also feel you handled things very well. Most CC permit holders are not aware of the legal ability to OC so naturally I would assume an even higher percentage of average joe's are completely out of the loop. Heck from what I've been reading here a lot of LEO"s are even unaware.

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    What is the name of the pizza shop? I can think of only one well established shop on Blvd. Ave. I won't however mention the name because I may be wrong. Do they staple the pizza in a half box and paper bag?

    If that's the place I am sad because they had Good pizza. It's a shame I can't go there anymore!!!

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    Get a reply to that letter yet?

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    No, no response. I have CC'd every time that I've gone back.

    Neobayer - Mural on the walls? You'll know it when you see it.

    Anyway, I had another fun experience a few days ago. My fiance and I have been re-sorting the kitchen after we got new cabinets and we came to the realization that we drink a lot of different types of tea. Rather than buying an expensive tea chest that is not exactly what we want, I volunteered to make one for her that would be the perfect fit for the shelves we have.

    Off to the Home Depot on Commerce Ave in Dickson City...

    I didn't notice anyone looking at me funny, but about 10-15 minutes into shopping, a guy in an orange apron approached me.

    "Hi, a few people have expressed concerns about you having a gun in the store. I'm _____ the Manager of the (such-and-such) department. I'm sure that you have a permit but...."

    At this point, I was as nice as I could be and stated, "Yes, I do have a permit, not that you need one for open carry in Pennsylvania. We're looking for 1/8 inch by2 inch pine for making dividers in a tea chest, can you help us?" He led us to the place we needed to be, but the store only had 1/4" thick.... I started walking to a new aisle and he followed. I pulled some vinyl-coated hooks off a shelf and my fiance and I talked about how with the new cabinets had no place to hang our coffee mugs now.

    I think at this point, the Mgr. figured that we weren't a threat to the store because he wandered off to whatever other responsibilities he had.

    We purchased our hooks, decided not to hold up the cashier and walked out to the car and went home.

    I think I'll be going to Lowes from now on.

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    Well, the manager at Home Depot did seem to respect your right to OC... perhaps he was ignorant of the law like most other people (and some LEOs). You also seemed to handle the situation well, and it looks like OCing might be a great way to get better customer service in the future

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    acrimsontide wrote:
    Since you like the food at this restaurant AND you have a permit and offered to CC, another solution is to just CC while you eat there. If your weapon is truly concealed AND you are in deed willing to CC, then no one would know the diffference. The other part of the issue is that if this pizza place is so dangerous, why expose yourself and your family to danger. Find another good pizza place that is less dangerous.
    There really is no such thing as a less dangerous place. Danger is everywhere. You can eat in the ghetto and not be bothered. You could eat at a fancy restuarant and be robbed. Danger is everywhere and is not what is really being discussed. The discussion is purtaining to carrying a lawful firearm in just a case where such a life threatening danger may present itself.

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