HOUSTON- A no-gun policy put a Heights-area pizza place in the cross hairs, but owners say the backlash from gun supporters may have backfired.
“You know what guns are good for?” said Pi Pizza owner Lee Ellis. “They’re good for killing people,” he added.
He told us the rampage in the West U area nearly proved his point.
“Nine innocent people got shot at by a licensed holder, a licensed gun holder," said Ellis. “There you go,” he added.
His recently opened restaurant has a no-gun policy.
It’s expressly stated by two signs near the front door which are required by Texas law for private businesses who want to prohibit open carry or concealed weapons.
“I don’t care that they want to be able to carry their gun, I don’t want to be around them,” said Ellis.
Gun supporters took aim at Pi Pizza over the weekend following an initial Facebook poster’s negative review.
“Any business that removes my right to defend myself is a business that doesn’t want my money,” he wrote.
Ellis responded by writing “F.O.”
“F.O.,” said Ellis. “You can interpret it any way you want, I could have written the words out, but didn’t,” he added.
Dozens of negative reviews followed based on Pi’s anti-gun stance, Ellis’s response, and not the pizza.
“Constitutional pizza is the best. Shame the owner doesn’t think so,” wrote on Yelp reviewer. “I’d rather spend my money on Pizza Hut and a box of ammo,” said another.
“Our business was up 20% on Saturday,” said Ellis. “It was up 44% on Sunday over the previous Sunday,” he added. “Yesterday, it was up 44% over the previous Monday.”
Ellis said his primary concern is having armed people in a place that serves alcohol.
However, the controversy has him considering an even stronger stance.
“As a matter of fact, now I think I’m going to put the signs up on my businesses that I don’t serve alcohol, because I don’t really care about these people,” said Ellis.
Yelp is now policing comments made about Pi Pizza related to the gun issue.
Meanwhile, an organization that runs a database of businesses with “no gun” policies responded to this controversy.
While we clearly support the right to carry, texas3006.com is not a concealed carry/open carry advocacy group. Our mission is to serve as a centralized database for fellow Texans to report businesses and other facilities that deny our right to defend both ourselves and our families from criminals by posting 30.06 and 30.07 signs. Since our mission is very narrow, we may not be the best group to talk to for that particular side of the debate.
As for the Pi Pizza situation, in the 9+ years that texas3006.com has been documenting businesses that post signage, I have never seen a business respond in quite the manner that Pi Pizza HTX did after a peaceful customer with a License to Carry reached out to them regarding their decision to post 30.06 and 30.07 signs. This is why the community took such offense. I can imagine that being told to "F Off", "Get a life", and being called an "ignorant idiot", publicly by a business, is humiliating! Combine that with being attacked because of your self-defense beliefs, and I don't think it's difficult to see why so many people came to Kyle's defense. The outrage was over Kyle's treatment, not so much the signs at that point.