My letter to Mr. Sharer:
It has come to my attention that the management at your Chesapeake Square location has posted a sign at the entrance to your establishment "banning" firearms from the premises. While there are several arguments to be made to expose the ineffectiveness of such a sign, the most simple is this: Criminals do not obey the law.
While Virginia law allows any law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm for personal protection you (or one of your agents) have taken it upon yourself to infringe on that natural right by instituting a policy. A policy does not make firearms illegal, it makes them unwelcome. Your sign essentially informs law-abiding citizens who have chosen to exercise their rights that they are not welcome in your restaurant.
What your sign cannot prevent is a someone with criminal intent from attempting an act of violence, robbery or theft by putting up a sign. In fact, what you have done is give criminals a green light to commit these acts with little fear of retaliation from their potential victims.
Virginia law allows open carry of firearms without a permit and concealed carry with. These laws are laid out in §18.2-308 et seq of the Virginia State Code. Hundreds of thousands of Virginia citizens carry firearms on their person lawfully each and every day and I, being one of them, would much prefer to offer my business to those who honour my rights and accede to the laws of the Commonwealth than to patronize an establishment where my safety and that of my family's is jeopardized by fiat.
I once enjoyed visits to your restaurants and have both performed and engineered sound at this particular location, experiencing no problems while I had my personal defensive weapon at my side.
I hope that you will reconsider your company's position, remove the offending signs and amend your policy to, in as many ways possible, reflect that your establishment(s) respect the decisions of the Commonwealth and its laws.
I am sure you will be receiving other reports of this recent development and I am most interested to hear your response on this matter. Until such time as the signs are removed myself and many who share my opinion will have no choice but to take our business elsewhere.