I did manage to get a chance to eat lunch in a sit-down restaurant today. I went to the local Cheesecake Factory, which as far as I can tell is never slow. I ate at the bar, since I was by myself and didn't want to wait for a table. While sitting at the bar, I noticed a sign propped up on one of the shelves, kind of off to the side. It was partially obscured by glare from a nearby window, but I could see it had the international "NO" symbol - circle with a slash - on it, but it was black. When the light changed, I saw it said "No Firearms Allowed pursuant to A.R.S. section 4-229" with the "NO" symbol over a pistol.
After lunch (I'd already ordered, and I wasn't carrying. I prefer to remain employed) I talked to the manager about it. I noted that while I normally do not patronize establishments that don't want me, the sign was not conspicuous and that had I not been sitting at the bar I'd have never seen it. He stated that he thought that the placement of the sign was per company policy, but he understood my concern. While there's a "No Smoking" notice on the front door, there is no "No Firearms" sign, and anyone coming in would not know that the establishment doesn't want its customers to be armed. When I got home, I checked the regulations:
So the sign was posted next to the liquor license, but it failed the "conspicuous location" requirement, and it didn't have the mandated red circle-with-a-slash symbol, so it was an improper sign. As I explained to the manager, they can certainly invite anyone open carrying to leave, but no one carrying concealed would have any way of knowing that it was company policy to prohibit firearms on the premises, the Cheesecake Factory would have no way to know they were carrying, and they were not in compliance with the law anyway.4-229. Licenses; Handguns; Posting of Notice
A. A person with a permit issued pursuant to section 13-3112 may carry a concealed handgun on the premises of a licensee who is an on-sale retailer unless the licensee posts a sign that clearly prohibits the possession of weapons on the licensed premises. The sign shall conform to the following requirements:1. Be posted in a conspicuous location (It wasn't.) accessible to the general public and immediately adjacent to the liquor license posted on the licensed premises. (It was.)
2. Contain a pictogram that shows a firearm within a red circle and a diagonal red line across the firearm. (It was a black & white photocopy. The circle with diagonal was black, not red.)
3. Contain the words, "no firearms allowed pursuant to A.R.S. section 4-229".B. A person shall not carry a firearm on the licensed premises of an on-sale retailer if the licensee has posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section.
C. It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection B of this section if:1. The person was not informed of the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section before the violation. (I wasn't.)
2. Any one or more of the following apply:(a) At the time of the violation the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section had fallen down.
(b) At the time of the violation the person was not a resident of this state.
(c) The licensee had posted the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section not more than thirty days before the violation.
He thanked me for my input and said he'd be contacting Corporate. I harbor no illusions that this Cheesecake Factory in particular or the chain overall is going to change their policy (so I don't intend to eat there again), but if they're going to make a stupid decision, they ought to at least follow the damned law.