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Tennessee restaurant owner welcomes gun owners

July 22nd, 2014 8:12 am by Associated Press

Tennessee restaurant owner welcomes gun owners

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee restaurant owner has placed a sign in the window of her business welcoming gun owners — a move she says has brought in more customers and saved her business from closing.

Shiloh Brew and Chew owner Sharma Floyd said she put up the sign after seeing a news account of a business being robbed after posting a sign saying guns were not allowed in the building.

The Maryville restaurant owner opted to go in the opposite direction. Floyd told WVLT-TV in Knoxville that "business exploded" and the response from customers was overwhelmingly positive.

Floyd said she doesn't want her sign to be a challenge to anyone. She's simply standing up for what she believes in.

"My parents always taught me that if you believe in something and you're passionate about it and you open your mouth up about it, you better be able to back it up," Floyd said. "And that's my stance on that."

The new business came after a rough winter when, Floyd said, expenses got to be too high, several pipes burst, and maintenance costs rising. It got to the point where Floyd said it was time to shut down her dream.

"I was really emotional when I told my workers," Floyd said.

Floyd is happy that people have responded positively to the sign. She's met new faces who have never stopped by to try her food, and several groups have told her they are planning to have dinner at her restaurant on Tuesday evening to show their support.

"I'm overwhelmed. Overjoyed. Absolutely overjoyed," Floyd said.

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