Toby Keith restaurant in Va. bans guns, sparks uproar

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A new restaurant that recently opened in Woodbridge is sparking a Second Amendment controversy, especially online.

The restaurant named for country music star Toby Keith has posted a “No guns permitted” sign on its front door and gun rights supporters are blasting the restrictions on the chain’s Facebook page. Some comments accuse Keith, who doesn’t own the restaurant, of being anti-gun.

Virginia is a right to carry state, which means residents can openly carry a firearm without a license.

The Facebook page of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in Woodbridge posted on Saturday:

“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.”

But some local residents support the restaurant’s decision to ask customers to leave their guns behind when visiting the chain.

Jean Sutts, from Woodbridge, was looking into the restaurant’s window before it opened on Friday.

“I went there last week. No, I did not see that (the sign). I think it’s a good thing no guns are permitted in a restaurant,” Sutts says.


This Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and Grill in Woodbridge, Va., has a sign posted that no guns are on allowed inside. Friday, local customers say they don’t mind but many have taken to the new restaurant’s Facebook page to complain, saying the eatery is infringing on customers’ Second Amendment rights. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

Her friend Mike Miskin, of Suffolk, Va., is a gun advocate. But he says, “alcohol and guns do not mix. I believe that you should be allowed to carry your gun with you but not into a bar.”

“Oh, I don’t think guns should be permitted unless it’s a peace officer or a law officer,” says John Dietz, who is from Texas. He was with his friend Stephanie Lyle who is from Manassas.

Lyle agrees with Dietz that law enforcement should be allowed to bring their guns to the eatery but the sign doesn’t bother her and she’d still eat there.

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