Second Amendment Activism at Denny’s in Wisconsin

Denny's Diner Restaurant
Denny’s Diner Restaurant. IMG Istock-TennesseePhotographer

U.S.A.-( A correspondent I have known since his childhood spends a large part of his time overseas as a missionary.

Coming back to Wisconsin, he was surprised to find a “No Firearms Allowed” sign at a Denny’s. I believe this is a local policy, decided by each local manager of the franchise. My correspondent gave me permission to edit the account of his reaction. His overseas experience has made him appreciate the freedoms Americans take for granted. His account:

Returning to America after having been gone half a year, lends itself to re-entry culture shock. I recently returned to the USA. I am extremely politically active as well as up to speed on currant issues.  I was still shocked by the the anti freedom advances the leftists have made in rural America. 

Driving north into Wisconsin on the Interstate, I decided to pull into a Denny’s for one of their breakfast specials. I was shocked to see a “No Firearms” sign! 

I was traveling with my father, who said: ” Well, I guess we better find another place to eat, one that loves freedom”. 

I replied “Yes, but I won’t just walk away in silent defeat”. 

We went in; a friendly waitress asked if only the two of us would be dinning. ” No”, I replied, “neither of us would be staying.” 

I asked if the manager was available. I was informed the manager was not there. When that happens I  ask the employee to deliver a message to the manager. The waitress assured me she would. I asked her to let the manager know they had lost two customers because they did not embrace our God given rights, protected by American Constitutions’ Second Amendment. I told her they had made themselves a soft target for the next would be mass murderer. 

Criminals typically (and wisely so) do not target establishments where they know they may be stopped by a good guy with a gun. By denying me the right to protect myself and family in their establishment, we become a vulnerable target. I will not put myself or loved ones in such a position of helplessness.

I realized I was talking to one of many uninformed Americans. This waitress responded with a “deer in the headlights” look. She replied, “I’m sorry you feel this way”. I again asked her to share this with her boss. She assured me she would. 
I was polite, I did not yell or raise my voice. I simply explained reality. We drove to the next exit and stopped at a restaurant that did not discriminate against armed Americans. My father and I had a good meal. As I paid the bill, the waitress said, ” I’ve never seen you here before, what brought you in?” I happily replied,  “Liberty, the fact that you do not have a statement against freedom on your door. You are not anti-gun.” 
She looked at me and said: “No, if someone wants to carry a firearm, good for them. We need people to show support for our rights.”
Restaurants often operate on slim profit margins. It doesn’t take many aggrieved customers to affect the bottom line. The general consensus used to be, commercial establishments were best served by avoiding political fights.
I find many travelers appreciate the United States more, after they have visited other countries. The United States is unique in many respects. One of the most obvious is the right to keep and bear arms. Switzerland used to be close; the European Union has used economic pressure to push Switzerland to impose more restrictive gun laws.
We at Ammoland would like to know if others have learned to appreciate the Bill of Rights in their travels to other countries.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.
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Ej harbet

As they said in the years of my youth right on sir!
A moderately famous restraunt that throws rolls will never be patronized by me or my family because its founder committed suicide and his family provides monetary support to the anti rights cretins.they also have the signs signaling their”virtue” in being a victim rich kill box. STICK IT LAMBERTS

Will Flatt

It cannot be repeated often enough or loudly enough;

No guns = No money


Thieves and disgruntled former employees do look for GFZ. Telling the local store manager’s employee your issue with their gfz is good BUT a written follow-up to the local manager, the district manager and ted national parent should also be done. Since the waitress had the “deer in her headlight” eyes what she says to the manager will be misquoted and likely in error. There are many places with better food deals and often cleaner stores. Wisconsin and Illinois were the last CCW/CCH states and there is lots to do to remove criminal penalties associated with any no guns sign.… Read more »

AK Don

I ran into this writer Dean at a Wisconsin Denny’s after the 2014 SAF Chicago conference. I was traveling the long way home via Michigan’s upper peninsula when I stopped at the Wisconsin Dells. Dean commented on my hat and I mentioned I had just left the SAF location. We didn’t recognize each other as we sat in separate areas of the convention the prior weekend. Dean carried openly and I carried concealed, yet we posed for a gun photo that he later published in Ammoland in 2014. It’s a shame Denny’s recently changed their policy. I just found 2… Read more »


I spent four years in Australia where a gun owner either had to own a Station (aka “Ranch”) large enough his bullets would not leave his property, or be a member of a shooting club where his arms were kept in the club safe — and if you missed a club meeting, the cops were on your doorstep the next day wanting to know why. Military-caliber rifles were prohibited unless obsolete, like the .303 British Enfield, and handguns were all but unheard of. At least all this was what we were told, but we were not in a frame of… Read more »


I spent four years in the devoutly socialist nation of Australia and returned in 1974 with a new (American) wife and Australian/American baby daughter. I was appalled by the Socialist/Communist Labor Government there, who seemed to have a genetic predisposition to lie through their teeth about the most fundamental economic and social issues. Firearm owners had to either own a Station (ranch) large enough their rifle fire would not leave their property; none Station owners had to belong to shooting clubs and keep their weapons in the club safe, and if you didn’t show up for a club meeting the… Read more »


I served in the military for eight years. I live in Wisconsin. I conceal carry. If I see a sign that says “No Firearms Allowed!”, I obey and take my money elsewhere, not wanting to be a victim because no one can say when, and no one can say where. All I know is that, wherever I go, everyone around is made just that much safer because I’m trained to engage. And just how “trained” do you have to be, before wanting to defend your liberties, your life, or the life of a loved one?


Civilian CCH/CCW training should concentrate on when NOT TO SHOOT.
Ref the lady Dallas cop now sentenced to a decade of prison, know where you are and be awake and alert.
Most “training” in the military concentrates on speed and accuracy. Military police are trained as LEO.
Many, if not most, police and civilians have years of wrong training from watching 100s of hours of Hollywood movies and TV. [ That may have been a factor in the Dallas shooting and a bad choice of defense attorney plea.


This is a great approach. Never thought about it this way.

Crotalus Maxximus

Dean please tell us the name of the pro2A Restaurant. You outed Denny’s now we have to patronize gun friendly businesses. Wisconsin Legal Blank Co. on 37th and Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee has nice big “Legal Carry of Firearms Allowed” signs. However they also carry not allowed signs. 1st Amendment you know.

Arizona Don

Constitutional carry (no permit required to carry concealed) is a right. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That is a part of the second amendment. It does not say they must carry in the open nor does it say it cannot be covered it does say the right of the people to keep and bear (meaning having and walking around with it) it does say that right shall not be infringed. Every word within the Bill of Rights has a specific meaning and is an integral part of the whole. Same goes… Read more »


My Handgun is Just Like My Master Card, I Don’t Leave Home Without It. If you don’t want me to Carry my Handgun in your Business, I’ll will Respect Your Views and Not Use My Master Card in your Business. I Only Shop Where I’m Welcome. A ‘GUN FREE’ Sign is just a piece of plastic and criminals have NO Respect for It.

Operator Z

I just ignore the signs. Concealed is concealed. However Denny’s won’t be hard to boycott. Horrible food anyway.

Mike B in WI


I live in SE Wisconsin. The only Denny’s that are on the Interstates (I-95 and I-39) as one “drives north into Wisconsin” are actually in Illinois. It does not surprise me at all that Illinois businesses around Chicago display those signs. I agree with Glocktarded that one sees many of those signs around Chicago, but as you drive further south, you see less and less of them

Wild Bill

, Interesting. Who knew.

Chris Mallory

If he is just blaming “leftists” for destroying freedom, he has one eye shut. “Conservatives” are just as bad with their gutting of the Bill of Rights to fight the opioid, meth, crack, bath salt, vaping, what ever latest scare drug to keep the sheep in line crisis. “Conservatives” are just as bad when they say “Just obey the officer’s commands and you may not be hurt.” You know the same advice we give hostages. Both right and left are just sides on the same big government, progressive, anti Liberty coin.

jack mac

Chris Mallory points out facts about our elected politicians. I believe that nobody who even verbally supports the democrats should be hired in government, much less elected. However, we should question why anyone would want to hold an elected office. The correct answer is almost all do so only for their own interest. Regardless of political position their interest is better served by unarmed subjects than armed citizens. The republican lawmakers do not vehemently oppose anti-right to arms legislation or publicly counter such actions. It would seem that drug use laws have no relation to the right to arms, but… Read more »


You don’t need to travel to another country; the US has plenty of places (NYC, New Jersey, Chicago, etc.) that mimic most of the rest of the world and its anti-freedom agenda, especially regarding firearms.


Good for them for not submitting to loss of their rights. This coming election is a critical on for gun owners and all American citizens. As a gun owner and a patriot this is a single issue election, Gun rights, because gun rights are all citizens rights and protection of the other rights defined by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Any candidate who does not support the 2A fully, as written “shall not be infringed” will unlikely gather any support from gun owners to win any local or national election. All the Democrats have shown their hand, and… Read more »


I like the bill just introduced that made those who would prevent the public from protecting themselves liable for damages due to lack of security. It applies to public and private entities. Time for those who would put our lives at risk responsible for their actions!


Thanks for standing up for our rights. We all need to put this in practice. That little sign on the door and never protected anyone but puts us all and our families in danger


Gun free zones= Open season for criminals. How are they not getting this. I guess they want us to become victims.


These are the SHOOTING GALLERIES the average illegal gun toting criminal loves to visit. Forks, spoons and butter knives are no match for the criminals stolen weapon. Maybe request a steak knife for your self each visit, gives you a MINIMAL bit of protection IF you can get to them to use it.


I’m actually surprised Denny’s didn’t report you to the police as a “threat” …

Deplorable Bill

Gun free zones are mass casualty opportunities for evil people who want to run up a high body count. I and my family do not go to places that post gun free zone signs — usually. When we/I do go to such places concealed carry is the dress code of the day. When there is no possible way to be armed with a firearm we just don’t go there. Like the author, I have also made mention to said establishments of why they will not be getting my family’s business. Their cash is of paramount importance to them. My family’s… Read more »


I don’t think we will. I think this is a one way street. I blame it on urbanism, which ends up being another word for collectivism, and ultimately fascism.

Wild Bill

, Perhaps the remedy is “Votelikehellism”.


I live in the suburbs of Chicago. Most of the businesses here have No Guns signs. Downstate is much better though, 65 of our 102 counties have declared themselves Sanctuary Counties. So it’s not really Illinois that sucks for gun rights, it’s urban Illinois.

Strangely, the areas with the strictest gun control laws (Cook County) have the highest crime rates.


I suspect it’s a bit of chicken & egg conundrum rather than pure “gun free” causes crime. I find it easy to believe that people uninclined to personally own firearms are much likely to wish to their neighbors disarmed if they find themselves being shot at.
In other words – where there is violence, people struggle to find solutions – versus nobody’s looking for solutions to the non-problem non-violence in peaceful places.
Would love to be proven wrong with strong statistical evidence that gun control causes violence (rather than just wanting to believe it is so).


Finnky, would Chicago, Baltimore and Los Angles be prime examples for you?


Everywhere gun ownership and concealed carry have increased, gun crime has decreased. It would take considerable time and money to find out why criminals have decided to stop committing crimes in those areas, and we’d have to trust the criminals to tell us the truth.

But, even if that fact is a coincidence, it still proves increased legal gun ownership DOES NOT increase gun crime. If arming the people around me doesn’t make me safer, at least it doesn’t increase my peril, so I’m for it.

Arizona Don

Think about this. Who does restrictive gun laws really effect. Those who obey laws or those who do not obey laws. It effects those who obey laws right? Of course that is right. So the second part of that question is who then benefits from restrictive gun laws if law abiding citizens obey the law and the criminals do not. Who is disarmed? It is not the criminal is it? So restrictive gun laws assist the criminal intent on committing a crime whether it be mass murder or robbing a bank it assists them if all law abiding citizens are… Read more »


Actually, I think you’re right, but not just about guns; urbanism has everything to do with fascism.

Here’s a free link to a long piece about guns, red flags, fascism and urbanism. Medium shadow banned it, but with this link you should be able to read it:

Dr. Strangelove

I grew up in Cook County and lived much of my life there. I’m now an Iowa resident and it’s strange to see all of the “NO GUNS” signs when I go back. Unlike IL, the signs in IA have no force of law.


I live behind enemy lines in a country called california, and whenever I visit Montana it feels very liberating !!


We welcome everybody here, so long as their CA attitudes (illegal is good and liberty is bad) behind. When they come in and take over, like they did Kalispell-Whitefish-Colombia Falls, THAT we don’t care for.
Welcome and geetings from the official middle-of-nowhere:


Knute, I see on the news that Montana is getting a lot of snow already. I lived in Michigan for many years and I don’t relish the thought of a lot of snow, anymore. Here in Tennessee we are having record breaking temps of the mid 90’s. I like your idea of not a lot of people but not so much the weather.

Wild Bill

@Tcat, Yep, the heat is just hanging on here, too! Just as good at keeping the libtards at bay as four feet of snow! I hope.


Just make sure you don’t go as far as New York!