Since open carry became legal in Texas at the beginning of the year, there have been various reactions, mostly positive. One BBQ joint in Cypress is downright rewarding people who have a pistol on their hip.
This story from mrt.com says the line outside of Brooks’ Place starts forming around mid-morning. The joint isn’t much more than a trailer and a few picnic tables with a generator out back providing the juice. One sign reads “Firearms welcome.” Another says, “Thank you for carrying your gun today.”
“We felt a need to tell gun owners you don’t need to worry about being judged,” said owner and chef Trent Brooks in the story.
Brooks advertises concealed carry classes on the restaurant’s menu and website, and has frequently offered discounts to gun owners and first responders during the establishment’s seven-year run, which has garnered it a spot on Texas Monthly’s 50 Best Barbecue Joints Worldwide list.
“In Texas, we have a saying: It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it,” Brooks said in the story, before adding that he has supported the new open carry law for a practical reason most concealed carriers can relate to: He said it protects gun owners from being charged with a crime for accidentally exposing their guns, the story says.
“Before the open carry law took effect, if the wind blew and your gun was exposed and someone saw it, you get accused of a crime,” Brooks said. “Now, if I go into Lowe’s and I reach up to a shelf and my shirt comes up, I’m not charged with a crime.”
Not everyone agrees, and Brooks has even gotten a threat or two. One that appeared on his Facebook page said, “I’ll shoot up the pace on Saturday (New Year’s Day). Let’s see how your gun toting patrons will stop me.”
Others have taken the more rational approach of vowing not to eat at his restaurant anymore. Concerned, Brooks contacted the sheriff’s office and hired two off-duty constables to stand guard. On New Year’s Day, no attack came, but Brooks fed 300 people, including about 200 with guns openly in holsters, the story says.
“We had people walk up here just to shake my hand and say thank you for standing up for our rights,” Brooks told wrt.com as “he prepared to serve lunch, including ribs, deer sausage, brisket, smoky barbecue-infused baked beans, cranberry almond coleslaw, and bacon, onion, and garlic potatoes.”