Toby Keith Loves his Gun-Free Bar, Do You?


January 1, 2014 by gregrabidoux2013

TK logo

Love my bar but your gun stays home.

So, Toby Keith the Oklahoman country singer and hit-maker (I Love this Bar, for one) turned restaurant-franchise owner (I Love this Bar, what else?) has hit a sour note with many of his gun-toting fans.

Seems for all his Oklahoman, rodeo, horse-riding, guitar-picking, flag-waving patriotism, Mr. Keith has come to a simple conclusion-guns ‘n booze don’t mix too well. He and his business advisors also did a little bit of research and discovered something else. In Virginia, despite laws allowing concealed guns, you also save some good old fashioned cash on your restaurant insurance liability policy when you serve booze at your guitar-shaped bar and ban firearms on your premises. Go figure.

So, like the predictable backlash-burn that comes after downing Toby Keith Nachos with double Jalapeno Habanero sauce, the blowback from gun-lovers who aimed their fury at Toby was fast and furious. And loud.

habanero pepper

You think I burn? Try angering gun owners!

The twitter world blew up with many angrily tweeting they’d never again (or ever) step foot in any of the 15 (more planned in Dallas, Chicago, Jacksonville and Savannah) “I Love this Bar” locations. Unless of course, they and their firearms were both welcomed and seated with a sweet, country smile.

And as I continue to track this story, like Betsy the 15 year old mare, the same old tired arguments have been trotted out on both sides of this never-ending debate. The gun proponents cite tragedies like recent school shootings and don’t wish to be unarmed when the “bad guy” and his gun make an appearance. The gun opponents cite instances when arguments erupted in bars and if not for guns being readily available the worst that would have happened was that someone’s pride got wounded. Not their flesh.

So, who is right? Well, as Toby himself noted in addressing the fallout, he appreciates and respects all views. He also rightly points out that the division over his decision reflects the deep divisions over guns across our country.

Divided we continue to be in these United States. And it’s not like guns are going away anytime soon. According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, the USA is by far the most highly armed civilian population in the world. It is estimated that there are 275 million guns in our country or about 90 guns per every 100 citizens. That isn’t counting the roughly 3 million more guns that need to be registered, including nearly 500,000 machine guns and 2 million destructive devices which covers explosive items like grenades.


Yep, you’ll have to leave this at home as well.

There are over 8 million active gun carry permits in the US with over 2 million issued in Florida alone since 1990.

Globally speaking, Serbia and Yemen come next with a little over 50 guns per every 100 of their citizens. Want to feel really safe when you saddle up to your watering hole of choice? Aim your travel compass in the direction of Fiji, Tunisia or the Solomon Islands. They have less than a quarter of a gun per every 100 of their sun ‘n surf loving inhabitants.

So, what’s a guitar-picking, simple country-boy restaurant-entrepreneur to do?

Toby Keith pic

What to do? What to do? I’m not feeling the love for me or my bar.

Well, the social media looks about 2-1 against Toby Keith but it’s too early yet to tell if the habanero sauce will hit the fan and hurt Mr. Keith’s bottom-line.

One thing’s for sure, long after people decide whether they’ll keep lovin’ Toby’s bar, the debate over guns in this country will still be here.

I wonder what they’re grilling up about now in Fiji?


Fiji, almost no guns, lots of water.

PS: By the time you read this blog today another 90 US citizens will die from gun related violence. By the end of this new year of 2014, over 32,000 will die. It is true that guns alone do not kill. Sadly, someone continues to pull the trigger in each of these deaths.








10 thoughts on “Toby Keith Loves his Gun-Free Bar, Do You?

  1. gunsafetypro says:

    Apparently his restaurant’s Yelp! reviews are not doing too hot…

    • Taylor Davis says:

      The decision to not allow guns in his bar is not up to Toby Keith but each states governing bodies. There is a 51% law in which over 51% of sale come from alcohol guns will not be allowed on the premises even with proper carry permits.

      • In this case the owner has some choice if the law is affirmative. In other words, since in this instance the law allows for concealed gun carry permits the owner can then choose, for his or her establishment only, to impose a policy that does not allow on their premises. It can’t work in the negative. In other words, if the law bans across the board, the bar owner can’t say well I know the law says NO but come to our bar where we will make it legal.

  2. Amelia says:

    I’ve been to Toby’s bar and it’s cool, I like the guitar shaped bar but I won’t go now not cuz I can’t bring a gun I just don’t want to be part of any pro v con gun drama…

  3. Susan S says:

    It’s his bar so he can do what we he wants, now we’ll see if his real fans will desert him or not!

  4. Ray J says:

    My New year’s resolution–if a place doesn’t welcome me and my gun I won’t go!

  5. Savanna G says:

    For some people, alcohol and violence go hand in hand. We all have seen someone at a bar get violent. So with that being said, not allowing guns into the bar seems to be the right idea. Although if your that person who is always starting a fight at a bar after you have been drinking all night, gun or not, your bound to hurt or even possibly kill someone. If someone is bound to injure or kill someone else they will do it. Im sure there have been plenty of incidents where someone has been stabbed in a bar with a broken glass bottle. Now if this person was to go after everyone in the bar with a gun or with a knife or what not, it would take a 5 to 10 minutes before an officer could get there, by then there could be many people dead. But if guns were allowed in his bar that person could be shot and injured before he hurt or killed anyone else before police got there. Honestly, its sad that this is what it has come down to, a special thanks to all the people who have obtained their guns illegally and are ruining it for all the honest people.

  6. Brian U says:

    I love this bar too! Its always a good time, packed with people, and good music. His decision to ban guns within his establishment is well within this right as a business owner and makes logical sense. I was shocked to learn that the majority of states allow persons with concealed carry permits to carry their gun with them into a bar. I don’t know all of the stipulations that each of the states have in regards to this law, however, I would hope the law contained verbiage to the extent that the person concealing a firearm cannot be intoxicated, nor be permitted to purchase or consume alcohol while on premises (similar to Ohio law). I would guess lawmakers would not be naive to the fact that guns and alcohol just don’t mix. Being in law enforcement, I have seen the aftermath of intoxicated people handling guns… someone always gets hurt. As a law abiding citizen however, I would respect a person’s constitutional right to bear arms, no matter what the facility, provided they are trained and licensed.

    On the other side of the equation, I too respect the views of business owners not wanting firearms in their establishments. We should respect their right to deny arms just as much as we want the right to bear arms. Its a double edged sword and many arguments will be made on both sides of this topic.

  7. Taylor D says:

    The decision to not allow guns in his bar is not up to Toby Keith but each states governing bodies. There is a 51% law in which over 51% of sale come from alcohol guns will not be allowed on the premises even with proper carry permits.

  8. Casey Holcom says:

    I honestly wouldn’t want to go to a bar where the patrons have guns. I know most people are responsible but if there is alcohol involved and high emotions come into play I don’t want to be anywhere near it.

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