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Open-Carry Restaurant Forced to Conceal Guns

Sea Bears

Photo courtesy of standard.net

Ogden’s only open-carry restaurant, Sea Bears Ogden Fish House will no longer be able to be Ogden’s only open-carry restaurant.

For more than a year now, owners, employees, and patrons of the restaurant have been allowed and encouraged to open-carry the firearm of their choice into the establishment. But with the recent announcement of Sea Bears relocation to the former site of Union Grill, in Ogden’s Union Station, officials now say they won’t permit openly carrying a gun there.

“The whole gun thing, it was a concern because we know it’s very divisive,” Charles Trentelman, secretary of the Union Station Foundation said in an official statement.

As a result of the move, Mr. Trentelman said when foundation executive director Elizabeth Sutton negotiated the contract with Sea Bears, it included a number of provisions regarding the restaurant’s open-carry rules. Among them was that weapons could only be carried by owners and servers who’ve had safety classes and background checks, that weapons had to be holstered, and that the guns could be no longer than 12 inches. Weapons would also only be allowed inside the restaurant, and not in other areas of Union Station.

“There was also the provision that if it became an issue, Elizabeth could say, ‘No, we’re not going to allow open-carry guns,’” Trentelman said. “They assured us it would all be done carefully, and with that mutual agreement, we went ahead with it.”

However, even with these rules, the idea that there would be an open-carry establishment in Union Square did not sit well with members of the public who proceeded to protest the decision to have the restaurant on the premises. After Union Station officials received numerous complaints about the restaurant’s open-carry policy, Sutton decided to exercise the weapons clause in the contract.

And with that, on Friday, signs were posted on the doors of the building reading: “The open carry of firearms is not permitted in Union Station.”

Sea Bears started moving into Union Station on Sunday, Aug. 14. The Siebers, who own the restaurant say they’ve been busy getting ready to serve customers and declined to comment on the issue.

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

Despite the rocky start to the relationship, Sutton hopes Union Station and Sea Bears will be able to work together.

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