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Restaurant Owner: ‘Guns Are Welcome’ Signs Have Helped Boost Business

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(Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (CBS Charlotte) – A restaurant owner has seen more customers frequent her business after she posted a “Guns are Welcome” sign on the front door of her family-friendly establishment.

“As the owner, I wanted to stand my ground. I have that constitutional right. If you like it, that’s great, if you don’t, I’m sorry for you. I can’t change who I am,” Sharma Floyd, with Shiloh Brew and Chew, told WBIR.

Floyd explained that she was inspired to post the sign at her restaurant after reading a story about a restaurant in North Carolina.

“They had put up a sign that said ‘No Weapons Allowed’ and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The convenience store manager was shot,” Floyd shared with WBIR. “And that got me thinking. I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn’t allow weapons. But I believe it’s ok to carry as long as you have a permit.”

Floyd stated that more than 20 new customers have come to eat at her Southern style restaurant since she posted the signs.

“I can honestly say I’ve gotten way more support than the one person who really gave me a lot of grief over it,” she told WBIR.

Many of her customers voiced their support for Floyd.

“Everyone needs to take a stand for what they believe is right,” Ralph Tucker told WBIR. “Somebody saying guns are welcome instead of somebody crying about how many people are killed with guns. And it’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.”

Floyd explained that even though she does not have a gun or a carry permit, she believes that her customers have a constitutional right to bear arms.

“I have had so many customers take pictures of the sign, ask to meet me in person, and thank me,” Floyd shared with WBIR. “There have been as many as eight people in here at one time who I know for a fact had guns. And no one would have known it except I know them personally. They’re law-abiding, God-fearing, Christian people. And that’s what I stand on. That’s what my restaurant is based on. “

She added that Shiloh Brew and Chew does not sell liquor and is often confused as a tobacco store or a bar.

“Brew is for coffee, chew is for food. So in my mind, my concept all went together. But after I made a $3,000 sign and paid for it, I realized that was not a good marketing idea,” Floyd told WBIR. “But the ‘Guns are Welcome’ signs have helped boost business.”

Floyd said that she asks anyone who orders a beer if they are carrying a weapon.

“If they say ‘Yes, I have an ankle strap on’, I say ‘Sorry, then you can’t drink,’” Floyd told WBIR. “We sell very, very little beer here, but we do offer it. I don’t have a liquor license. I won’t get a liquor license.”

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