January 6, 2016
BROWN COUNTY, TX – Some small business owners in Texas are saying the signage requirement in the state’s new open carry law forces them to pick a side in the gun debate.
Businesses that do not permit open carry have to display a 30.07 sign at each entrance, but some owners are upset with the costs of posting those signs. Steven Harris, co-owner of Steve’s Market and Deli in Brownwood, said the responsibility for the signs will come with additional cost. “Any business that has to purchase a sign for $60, it’s going to come from one place and it’s the consumer,” Harris said. “So our customers are going to end up paying for the expense of that.”
Harris is aware of the negative effect displaying such signage may have on his bottom line. “A lot of people will say, ‘Well you’re anti-gun by saying no open carry,’” Harris said.
But not everyone shares Harris’ position. Marco Sandoval owns Common Grounds, a coffee shop located on Austin Avenue. He has no problems with people carrying a firearm inside his property. “If the person has the [license] and they choose to open carry, I’m not going to raise a big fuss over it,” Sandoval said.
On Monday two people showed up at his establishment openly displaying their firearms. “It’s no different from a police officer coming in and sitting down and having lunch,” he said. “As a matter of fact, we had two of them yesterday, came in, sat right there, and had lunch here. No one had any issue with that.” Sandoval said those who have a handgun license went through the appropriate background checks.