PALESTINE, TX—Open carry has arrived in Palestine and as businesses struggle with whether to allow or not allow the open carry of guns on their property, two local businesses have not only decided that they won’t allow open carry, but have went a step further.
Hampton Inn & Suites says there will be no open carry on their property and are, in addition to barring visitors from carrying their weapons, requiring that visitors turn over all weapons owned to the hotel staff for the duration of their stay.
“We don’t want guns on our property and after we gave it some thought, we want to know where our customer’s guns are at all times,” Assistant General Manager Amanda Underwood told The Dogwood Tale. “When people check in, we’ll run a simple background check to find if they own any weapons and they will be required to turn them over to us while they stay.”
The new policy applies to both rifles and handguns.
“We simply don’t want people armed here,” Underwood said. “All weapons will be stored in a secure place until the customer checks out of the hotel, out of reach of anyone, but me.”
“If a background check determines the customer owns a weapon and they can’t turn over the weapon because they left it at home, they’ll have to go home and get it so we can put it up for them while they stay,” a determined Underwood explained.
“We don’t owe anyone an explanation, just trust us, we found a gun two days after some idiot checked out. He called and said, ‘I left my gun under the pillow’ and thankfully housekeeping had not changed the pillowcases after his stay, so there the gun was, safe and sound. It was a close call because anyone could have come into contact with, saw or even smelled the gun powder on the gun and how would that have made them feel?”
Underwood added that hotel staff are not responsible for your personal safety or the damage or loss of any weapons in their storage while you stay at the hotel.
Cellular One is also taking an extreme approach to open carry.
“We don’t want any weapons within a 50-nautical mile radius of our stores, primarily because our coverage area is such that we’re afraid customers will not have a signal to call police should something bad happen,” a company spokesperson told The Dogwood Tale.