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Utah Restaurant Staff to Stop Open-Carrying Guns

Tuesday Aug 23, 2016

A Utah restaurant known for kilt-clad servers who openly carry firearms will have to keep them under wraps starting this week.

The staff at Sea Bears Ogden Fish House can only carry concealed weapons now that the eatery has relocated to the city's historic Union Station.

Officials with the Union Station Foundation are not allowing open carry of firearms, the Standard-Examiner of Ogden reported. Initially, the contract that foundation executive Elizabeth Sutton negotiated with Sea Bears permitted open-carry but with conditions. They included owners and wait staff with firearms had to have undergone safety classes and background checks. Also, weapons had to be in holsters and guns could not be longer than 12 inches. All weapons could not be permitted outside of the restaurant in other parts of Union Station.

The Union Station Foundation, however, received complaints that Sea Bears would retain its open-carry policy. As a result, Sutton exercised a provision that Union Station could ban open-carry altogether if the subject became an issue.

"In this day and age, to see somebody carrying in public, you don't know right away if it's friendly or scary," Sutton said. "So, to make everyone feel safe, we felt that open-carry does not meet our mission and goal."

Anyone with a concealed-carry permit can still carry a weapon under the contract, she added.

Restaurant owners Monika and Tony Siebers, staunch Second Amendment supporters, declined to comment.

"We've had a great relationship (with Union Station) and we're excited to be here," Monika Siebers said. "But as far as the open-carry, we're not ready to say anything."

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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