The National Rifle Association rolled into Nashville these last few days.  We brought 80,000 members to celebrate freedom and liberty.  Along with all of us came a few hundred media types, and a few dozen misguided folks seeking to recreate past tyrannies.

Obviously, NRA members have strong feelings about guns.  We recognize the proven benefits of firearm ownership as well as the proven benefits of right-to-carry.  A great percentage of America’s 5% of all adults who have concealed carry licenses are NRA members – and we carry.

And when we see signs that say “NO GUNS”, we typically go elsewhere to conduct business.

This was in full effect in Nashville, on Broadway, the nexus of entertainment in Nashville.

At the height of lunch on Saturday, the peak attendance day for the event, there was an obvious contrast at some businesses.


Need a seat at this establishment that “welcomes” NRA members with a gun-buster sign?  There is no waiting.

At another entrance, this was the sign:


Yep, that’s a fine business plan: alienate productive members of society with cash to spend.  Is this what passes for a successful business model?

Here’s another establishment:


The Full Moon Saloon.  Note the sign over the guy’s shoulder.



This guy was playing to an empty house.  Not a single table was occupied.  At noon.  While there were waits of a half-hour or more at some restaurants, this one was as empty.

Contrast that with the Jimmy Buffet place across the street the wife and I left a few minutes earlier, along with $50 of our hard-earned money:


There was a wait for seating.  The food wasn’t earth shattering, but the music was very good.  And the atmosphere was friendly, courteous and safe.  NRA members spent a lot of money inside Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville today, along with other establishments that were truly welcoming.

Not so much at the establishments that proudly adorned their doors with NO GUNS signage.

37 thoughts on “ILL-ADVISED: No waiting, no money at anti-gun Nashville establishments”
  1. Kudos to NRA attendees voting with their wallets.

    There’s tens of millions of dollars getting spent and some idiots just can’t help but say “no thanks”. That’s okay. Money talks.

    Bullcrap goes bankrupt.

    1. 80,000 people with uncontrolled anger (referring to the April 10 post)? How many shootings so far?
      None? Hmmm…

  2. I don’t know what the law is in TN, but here in OK you may carry in a restaurant, but not in a bar. It looks to me like all of the empty establishments were bars, while the full one was a restaurant.

    1. Tennessee allows permit holders to carry a gun in ANY establishment that is not posted. They are not allowed to drink alcohol while carrying. It doesn’t matter if the establishment serves alcohol.

    2. Bars are actually very rare in TN, these establishments are actually restaurants that serve alcohol. Many “restaurants” in TN pay a monthly fine to the liquor board because they don’t sell enough food, but it’s nearly impossible to get a “bar” liquor license so they have adopted this business model and everyone is happy, especially the collectors of aforementioned fines.

  3. I call B.S. I was downtown. Virtually every place was busy. Some of the places you claimed were empty often don’t have huge crowds in the middle of the day because, for example, they play bluegrass and there’s just not as many people who go to that bar as opposed to other bars. I’m downtown frequently – I live here – and some days when the NRA isn’t in town, some of these places are empty in the middle of the day.

    By the way, under state law, if you are carrying in an establishment that allows guns, you are not permitted to drink. So banning guns is one way these bars ensure that more of their customers are able to actually spend money there on the thing that makes the bars the most money – alcohol.

    1. I have the experience and knowledge that comes with living in Nashville and spending a lot of time on Lower Broadway. And his pictures don’t support his assertions. Not even close.

    2. Ethan from Akron, OH here.
      I was there on Sunday. We started to go into Jackalope brewing company for a bite and some brews (we were not carrying) when we noticed a big hand posted NO GUNS next to the front door.

      I decided right then we weren’t going to eat there, but I poked my head in anyways and noticed it was at about 20% capacity of its seating. Mostly empty.

      So we went next door to Party Fowl which had no such sign, and was absolutely PACKED. Had some delicious “Nashville Hot” fried chicken and a cold glass of Kentucky Burbon Barrel Ale.

      This was a little after 5:00pm as a flood of people were leaving the convention 2 blocks away looking for dinner.

    3. You have excuses. Even if a place wasn’t ideal, there were plenty of people needing to eat.

    4. Jim, if you think a photo of no line at Rippy’s and a photo of a non-restaurant bar that the writer claims was empty (can’t tell from the photo) proves the no-guns signs were hurting their business, I can’t help you. At the height of the SEC men’s basketball tournament a few weeks ago, Rippy’s was packed at lunchtime, but there was no line. That same photo could’ve been taken and someone could have asserted that “SEC fans love their guns, so obviously Rippy’s has no waiting because SEC fans went elsewhere.” It would be total BS, but if all you do is look at the front door and snap a pic, that’s what you’d get.

    5. I guess common sense is something you are missing. Hope you find some one day. The article is written about the 80K NRA members in attendance at the time not about some other weekend event. The fact is that those of us that actually support the 2A do not spend our money in establishments that seek to disarm us.

      Plenty of NRA members like Blue Grass, just don’t like those that trample on our rights. I for one go into bars often and do not drink. When the law allows me to carry in those establishments (Depends on the state) I am always carrying.

    6. LOL, 80,000 people in town for one of Nashville’s largest conventions and the antis still want to dream up these lame excuses. When that many people are on a schedule and trying to see exhibits they eat and don’t care about the music or, within limits, the quality. If it has no kitchen then that’s one thing, if you make your living selling food but don’t allow guns, don’t be surprised if you lose the gun owners’ business.

    7. Ethan from Akron, OH here.
      I was there on Sunday. We started to go into Jackalope brewing company for a bite and some brews (we were not carrying) when we noticed a big hand posted NO GUNS next to the front door.

      I decided right then we weren’t going to eat there, but I poked my head in anyways and noticed it was at about 20% capacity of its seating. Mostly empty.

      So we went next door to Party Fowl which had no such sign, and was absolutely PACKED. Had some delicious “Nashville Hot” fried chicken and a cold glass of Kentucky Burbon Barrel Ale.

      This was a little after 5:00pm as a flood of people were leaving the convention 2 blocks away looking for dinner.

    8. I dont get it. If the bar allows guns you are saying no one can drink. If you want a drink you have to go to bars with no guns signs. You make no sense at all.

  4. Your issue is with the state laws dealing with bars and carrying a weapon, not the business owners.

    1. No, it’s not with the state because it is legal to carry in a bar in Tennessee. If the business post no-guns, then it’s their decision.

  5. You post, I walk. That simple.

    Let them go broke for their wrong-headed beliefs.

    1. How are they going to go broke if you can’t drink in there to begin with, water is free and soda costs pennies.
      Not all bars serve food and honestly what s the point of going into a bar and eating popcorn and driking soda?

    2. how about to be social. I have gone many times to bars and only drank soda! other friends of mine have also. I haven’t been drunk in 30 years. I do have a beer or two every once and a while, but drinking alcohol isn’t a priority to me! Besides its fun sitting back and watching all of the drunks ! lol

    3. Being in the restaurant/bar business the profit from selling a soft drink or tea is about 300 % compared to an alcoholic beverage being around 120%. The difference being the state taxes on alcohol sales. As a business owner I would never be upset with customers ordering soft drink instead of alcohol. I am a gun friendly business and here in N.C. we allow open carry as well as concealed carry and both are welcome in any of my establishments.

  6. This article is stupid. Full Moon Saloon was empty at noon at lunchtime? Wow. Must be because it bans guns, right? No. It’s because at lunchtime people tend to go to restaurants that serve a wide array of food. Full Moon Saloon is a bar, not a restaurant. It’s normally not packed at noon on a Saturday, and that fact has nothing to do with the NRA or the no-guns sign.

  7. This utterly stupid story asserts that Rippy’s was empty because it had a no-guns sign, but the only evidence is a photo taken from the sidewalk looking in the door.

    Obviously, the writer is unfamiliar with Rippy’s, and the ebbs and flows of business on Lower Broadway.

    Rippy’s is a HUGE place, with seating on multiple floors. It could be very busy and yet have no long line in the middle of the day because it has a zillion seats for the nighttime when it is extremely busy. The photo proves nothing other than at the moment it was taken, there was no line. It doesn’t prove that NRA members en masse didn’t eat there. It only shows that Rippy’s was having a fairly normal Saturday lunchtime. I’ve eaten there several times on Saturday at lunchtime. It’s always busy, never has a line.

    By the way, at night on weekends, Rippy’s is typically jam-packed. Trust me, that no-guns sign isn’t causing its business to collapse.

    So, with this story, the writer proved nothing, other than Rippy’s was having a normal lunchtime, Full Moon Saloon was empty because it isn’t a restaurant and it was lunchtime, and Margaritaville, which is a restaurant, was busy at lunchtime, just like it always is on a Saturday afternoon.

    1. Bill, did this article hit a little too close to home for you?

      Or do you just hate guns?


    2. I agree with your sentiment. Bill sure seems fired up about this post. It’s almost like it’s personal for him.

    3. No he actually has a valid point, the story really doesn’t point out much other than bars that only sell ALCOHOL were empty on a Saturday which in itself isn’t unusual no matter what city you live in.
      I live in San Diego which is a party town from sun up to sun down and it’s the same way.
      In TN it’s illegal to consume alchol period while carrying a firearm in public so honestly why would you go into a bar where where all you can do is drink water and soda?
      Not to mention as always there’s going to be some idiot who thinks thye’re special and wants to test people so posting a no gun allowed sign becasue they just don’t want to deal with the drama of explaining themselves is just prudent.
      We don’t get it both ways guys.

  8. Saturday, in Nashville, they places are normally empty? That’s why they pay a guy to perform to an empty house? Really?

    A tourist town that has empty restaurants on a Saturday is common?
    Gotta tell you, that sounds like bull crap.

  9. I’m an NRA member and I was at the convention and I was downtown. This article is unfortunately wrong. Plenty of places posted gun-free were full of people, especially Friday afternoon. A place called Honky Tonk Central was posted as no guns but it was packed and the balconies were filled with people and had “don’t tread on me” flags draped from the railings. It looked like mardi gras. I also was walking around down there Saturday and was surprised that so many places with no guns signs were doing good business. I even texted pics of these places to friends expressing surprise that those no guns places were so crowded. I’m all for reporting this kind of stuff but if you report stuff that’s incorrect then it affects your credibility.

  10. Hiram, those kinds of places don’t pay entertainers to play. They play for tips. I have a friend who’s brother plays down in the honky tonks in downtown Nashville. Sadly, many people just didn’t care enough to go to a gun-frendly venue.

  11. So just to clarify, I was there at the times these pictures were taken. It was between 11:30 and noon on Saturday. These are legit pictures and make of them what you will, but there were several bars/restaurants that were a lot less full than others. This is not an attack on Nashville or the downtown scene, since most of the places I visited were more than welcoming to the NRA members in attendance. Most that I/we went to even asked if we were in town because of it. However, from the street view (as these pictures are taken), there was a very large difference in the establishments that were posted as compared to those that were not. Now, this is short time period on one afternoon. So the pictures are legitimate and again, no offense intended to the downtown area. I quite like it and hope to return when we have some more time to explore.

  12. The first establishment pictured was taken at shortly before noon on Saturday, as Wendala noted. It was taken as Wendala and I were on our way to Jimmy B’s for lunch.

    The second set was taken at about 12:40 as I was hustling to make it back to the Instructor session at the NRA convention which started at 1pm.

    Sure, at different times, different people will see different things. Even Bill.

    I was struck at the vast differences between posted locations being VERY sparsely attended, and other non-posted locations being packed to the point of lines spilling onto the sidewalk.

    Hence the genesis of this article. Yes, posted locations saw some business from NRA participants Yes, even the posted Alan Jackson concert was chock full of NRA people.

    Just because we are all members of the gun culture doesn’t mean we’re monolithic.

    It does mean than a great majority of us prefer to spend our money at locations that don’t discriminate against gun owners.



  13. Why does Bill keep saying this article is stupid?

    What’s up Bill? You don’t like guns?

  14. I believe that you can’t say” Welcome NRA” and then also tell them no guns….how absurd is that? I do not frequent places that don’t uphold the 2A…my money can go elsewhere. T

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