Maine Restaurant Owner Won’t Serve Gun Supporters
Own an AR-15? Your money's not welcome at this Maine restaurant.
You don’t even have to be carrying a gun, you just have to support an individual’s right to own a gun, and that’s enough for one Portland, Maine, restaurant owner to deny you service. The Facebook post made by the owner of two restaurants, Anne Verrill, has since been taken down, but the comments went viral after she posted about feeling that she needed to do something “out of the box” to help solve the gun violence in America problem.
She wrote, anyone who owns, or even supports an individual’s right to own, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, may “no longer enter either of my restaurants, because the only thing I want to teach my children is love.” The AR-15 is the rifle that was used in the Orlando, Florida, nightclub attack.
Once the post went viral, new outlets are reporting that Verrill began receiving negative comments and threats of boycotts. The New York Times interviewed the 38-year-old woman, who said she wanted to take some action that might actually make a difference and take a stand. She knew it might hurt her business in the largely rural state. As a restaurant owner, she has the right to ask that patrons leave their firearms at home.
Gun rights advocates, though, are also staking out their territory. Her restaurants were listed in a website for gun-unfriendly businesses. Gun rights advocates responded by posting hundreds of negative reviews of her restaurant Grace, which some say is one of the finest restaurants in the state. She later deleted the Facebook post while saying that her position hadn’t changed, she just felt that the post had become too much of a platform for hate.Critics pointed out that she would have no way of barring people for their beliefs. Many critics were uncomfortable with the idea that any service provider could bar someone simply for their privately held beliefs, not whether they were openly carrying a gun or not.