A restaurant owner doesn’t want to serve customers who own guns that look scary because she says doing so would violate her conscience.
Anne Verrill, who owns two eateries in Maine, explained in a series of Facebook posts that she will no longer serve customers who own “semi-automatic” guns similar to the one used by the terrorist who killed 49 and injured an additional 53 in Orlando last week. The same rule applies for anyone who supports the right for others to own a similar rifle.
“You don’t privately own this weapon to protect your family, or to hunt. I understand that I may be offending members of my community, but this is a human issue, not a gun owners issue, or a Second Amendment issue, it is about humans,” Verrill wrote, according to the Portland Press Herald. “I cannot, in good conscience, accept anyone inside of my restaurants who believes that this is OK.”
In her initial post, Verrill posted a photo of a rifle that resembles an AR-15, and referred to this type of gun as a “weapon of war” in a follow up post.
As Sean Davis has pointed out, much of the dialogue to ban high-powered rifles is emotionally charged stupidity. Banning rifles like the one Verrill posted a photo of is emblematic of the 1994 assault weapons ban, which barred Americans from owning guns with certain cosmetic features, not because of how such guns actually work.
It’s probably a good thing Verrill lives in Portland, Maine, instead of Portland, Oregon, as refusing to serve a customer based on one’s convictions can cost a small business owner a pretty penny in the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon, bakery owners refused to bake a specialized cake for a same-sex wedding because they said doing so violated their conscience. The bakers ended up paying more than $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the couple whose wedding they had refused to bake a cake for back in 2013.
The Maine restaurateur’s threats went far beyond those of the bakery owners in Oregon. Whereas the Oregon bakers merely refused to offer their support of a religious ceremony, the woman in Maine isn’t just declaring her refusal to cater a gun show. She’s outright refusing to serve individual people who happen to own guns or support the right of others to do so.
You can read Verrill’s entire Facebook post here.