Gun Ban At Country Star Toby Keith's Newest Restaurant Causes Ou

Gun Ban At Country Star Toby Keith's Newest Restaurant Causes Outcry

Posted: Updated:

(Forbes.com)  In mid-December, the 15th in country superstar Toby Keith's growing restaurant chain opened its doors in the North Virginia town of Woodbridge, around 20 miles south of Washington, D.C.

It didn't take long for diners to notice a sign some saw as incongruous on the door of the self-proclaimed cowboy's I Love This Bar & Grill: "No Guns Permitted."

The singer's team posted the following statement on the restaurant's Facebook page on Saturday, after days of social media questions and complaints:

While we understand and respect every person's right to own and bear arms, we at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, with guidance from the State of Virginia and based on insurance regulations, have adopted a no weapons policy. It is our desire to provided a safe, enjoyable and entertaining experience for our patrons and staff.

While some gun control activists have posted notes of gratitude underneath the restaurant's announcement, there are plenty of angry Keith fans and Second Amendment advocates expressing their ire on Facebook:

TobyFB

Virginia is an open carry state, meaning gun enthusiasts are welcome to brandish their weapons openly — except within private premises or businesses that enact a ban.

It's worth noting that Keith's involvement in his own chain — named after one of his biggest hits — varies by location. As my colleague Zack O'Malley Greenburg explained in his cover story on Keith's $500 million empire, the country crooner owns a big chunk of both the land and eatery in Oklahoma City, some 20 minutes from his house.

"For others he strikes licensing agreements with large operators for a flat fee, a cut of revenues or both," wrote Greenburg. Ownership structure aside, Forbes estimates Keith pulls in $12 million a year from his restaurants.

Keith's Woodbridge outpost is just the latest business to find itself in the proverbial crosshairs of the divisive gun rights debate. In September, with mounting pressure from gun control groups including Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense, Starbucks' billionaire founder Howard Schultz announced firearms were no longer welcome in his coffee shops. The Seattle-based java giant had found itself playing host, unwittingly, to pro-gun rallies in its stores.

After their success lobbying Starbucks, Moms Demand Action has set their sights on office supply chain Staples, where there is no explicit corporate policy banning guns.

The gun control group was formed the day after the Newtown massacre at Sandy Hook and now boasts a membership of over 110,000 grassroots activists. Its founder, Shannon Watts, posted on Keith's restaurant page shortly after the gun ban announcement: "Mothers of America thank you!"

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Oklahoma teens avoid law, risk serious consequences with tattoos

    Oklahoma teens avoid law, risk serious consequences with tattoos

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-04-24 09:00:33 GMT
    Back in 2006, Oklahoma became the last state to legalize tattoo parlors, but teens are still not allowed to get inked. That's not stopping many young people, sometimes finding themselves in dangerous situations simply because they can't wait a few months or years to get tattooed legally.
    Back in 2006, Oklahoma became the last state to legalize tattoo parlors, but teens are still not allowed to get inked. That's not stopping many young people, sometimes finding themselves in dangerous situations simply because they can't wait a few months or years to get tattooed legally.
  • Tools track kids' phone use

    Tools track kids' phone use

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:40:03 GMT
    Apps keep tabs on teensApps keep tabs on teens
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
  • Burglary suspect cuts self, leaves blood during Yukon break-in

    Burglary suspect cuts self, leaves blood during Yukon break-in

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:36:59 GMT
    A Yukon man hopes his home surveillance equipment helps with the arrest of a man he says broke into his home and cut himself in the process.
    A Yukon man hopes his home surveillance equipment helps with the arrest of a man he says broke into his home and cut himself in the process.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • Texas teacher accused of taking away second grader's bible during reading time

    Texas teacher accused of taking away second grader's bible during reading time

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 09:10:57 GMT
    A Houston area school teacher is being accused of telling an elementary school student she can't read the Bible in school and is not even allowed to bring the Bible to school.
    A Houston area school teacher is being accused of telling an elementary school student she can't read the Bible in school and is not even allowed to bring the Bible to school.
  • Tools track kids' phone use

    Tools track kids' phone use

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:40:03 GMT
    Apps keep tabs on teensApps keep tabs on teens
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
    With so many teens and kids armed with smartphones, parents can often feel out of the loop and maybe even nervous about how their kids are using those devices. There are now more ways than ever before for parents to keep tabs. We asked the folks at Verizon to break down the best options. Lawrence Ross said, "With Family Base you can see who your children are talking to, when they're talking to them." At $5 a month, Family Base gives you alerts and email updates on exactly how your kids are ...
  • Georgia governor signs gun law allowing guns in churches, schools

    Georgia governor signs gun law allowing guns in churches, schools

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:17 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:17:30 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.