Whataburger Says No To Texas Open Carry

Whataburger Says No To Texas Open Carry

Wichita Falls, TX - Texas lawmakers passed its controversial open-carry bill last month.

The new law that will take effect in January will make it legal for Texans to openly carry guns in public.

Kevin Clymer, a customer, visiting Wichita Falls from Arkansas said, "it's one of the first to have concealed handguns. So it's really in keeping with the tradition of the state."

Tradition or not, Texas-based fast food chain Whataburger does not believe open carry is the best fit for its restaurants. In a statement earlier this week, Preston Atkinson, President and CEO of the company explained its decision.

"We've had many customers and employees tell us they're uncomfortable being around someone with a visible firearm who is not a member of law enforcement, and as a business, we have to listen and value that feedback in the same way we value yours," said Atkinson.

Some customers Newschannel 6 talked to said they did not have a problem with people openly carry in restaurants.

"I've been around them my whole life and I'm comfortable with them. I've seen them and used them and I wouldn't feel uncomfortable," said Ben McCreary, a customer.

The company said it respects customers second amendment rights but has had a long-standing policy prohibiting open carry of handguns for some time and customers Newschannel 6 talked with understand why.

"Some people might not feel safe with guns around them," said Quinten Malone, a customer.

"I think as a business you should have the right to choose what you're willing to allow in your business and I think with an open carry you might make some customers uncomfortable, which can have an adverse effect on your sales," said Clymer.

Whataburger owns more than 780 restaurants across the United States.

Jimmie Johnson, News Channel 6

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