Now that you can carry visible guns in Texas, thanks to a loosening of regulations that took effect at the start of 2016, one bookstore in Austin is trying to take advantage of this hot new demographic. Brave New Books announced on its Facebook page in January that anyone carrying a visible gun to their store will not only be welcomed with open arms (sorry), but will be eligible for a 10 percent discount.
Seems kind of like an odd move for a bookstore in a liberal city, right? Not quite—according to The Guardian, Brave New Books identifies as an “anti-war, anti-state and pro-market” store, which is a longer way of saying “Libertarian.” They carry books about conspiracies and survivalism, and sustainability. Here’s what store reps had to say on Facebook after a “freedom symposium” this past week (everything sic):
We’ll here from owner of Central Texas Gun Works, Michael Cargill. We’ll take part in a firearms safety course from our good friend Stephen Sheftall. And we will hear from a panel of gun rights activists about the latest in the fight for firearms freedom in Texas. And for a limited time only if you come in to Brave New Books safely open carrying a firearm, you can get 10% off anything in the store! That’s right. We want to celebrate your decision to take security in to your own hands by giving you 10% off any product in the store for safely open carrying your firearm.”
John Bush, store owner and former tea party activist, told a local TV station that, “we appreciate it when people take security and defence into their own hands. In a world where mass shootings are happening more and more, when seconds count, it’s up to we the people to protect our community.”
At least two other bookstores in Austin have said they won’t allow open-carrying customers in their stores. Which, I’d have to guess, won’t put a significant dent in business.