Virginia Diners Packing Heat

Virginia Carry

Virginia Carry

As the nine esteemed justices sitting on the United States Supreme Court wrestle with the legality of the DC Law banning all hand-guns, in a decision which will perhaps affect gun laws throughout the country, here is one working version of the Second Amendment from nearby Fairfax County in northern Virginia.

THE PATRONS AT CHAMPPS in Reston, an upscale restaurant and bar chain, were eating ribs and drinking beer on a recent Saturday when customer Bruce Jackson stood up and made an announcement: He was armed, and so were dozens of other patrons.

The armed customers stood up in unison, showing off holstered pistols. Mr. Jackson said a word or two about the rights of gun owners to carry firearms in Virginia, then thanked everyone for his or her attention and sat down. And the diners returned to their burgers and Budweisers.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) organized the dinner at Champps to prove a point: that the presence of armed customers in Northern Virginia restaurants would elicit little more than shrugs. The dinner—and several other restaurant visits throughout Northern Virginia last month—were a response to comments from the majority leader in the state Senate, Democrat Richard L. Saslaw, who said during a legislative debate that armed patrons would be unwelcome in Northern Virginia restaurants.

"In most urban areas, you walk into a restaurant with a gun on your hip, they're going to tell you to get out," Mr. Saslaw said.

In fact, with a few exceptions, the gun owners got their meals. The group went to eight different restaurants last month—at two of them, they were asked to leave. More often than not, though, their presence failed to generate a stir.

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