SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — Sea Bears Ogden Fish House relocated to the historic Ogden Union Station outside Salt Lake City. This historic location is home to a number of museums and it is a very scenic destination for visitors and locals alike. Sea Bears has maintained a policy which allows its waiters and waitresses to openly carry firearms on their kilts.
Since the business has been open, this has not been a problem. However, when they relocated to the new historic location, the Executive Director of the Ogden Union Station Foundation has inserted stipulations: no open carry.
If this sounds weird for Utah, you’d be right. But then again, its Executive Director isn’t from Utah. She’s from Orange County, California.
The main curator of Union Station, Dr. Elizabeth Sutton, Ph.D., is from Orange County, California, and relocated to Utah in 2012 to help out at the Museum of Anthropology at Utah State University. She is now the Executive Director of Ogden Union Station Foundation and Museums and it was her call as to whether or not to push the restriction of open carry on the premises of the Sea Bears location.
“In this day and age, to see somebody carrying in public, you don’t know right away if it’s friendly or scary,” Sutton said. “So, to make everyone feel safe, we felt that open-carry does not meet our mission and goal.”
Thankfully, according to the Standard Examiner, there’s been a public outcry over this arguably illegal restriction. Dr. Sutton responded by reassuring everyone: we have signs that stop people from carrying guns openly.
“I believe the misinformation came with people believing that we were going to allow open-carry in the Station,” Sutton said. “It is not allowed, and we have not had a problem. I had my staff put up signs today.”
Because, as we all know, putting up signs stops criminals. /s
Located at the Union Station site is a museum dedicated to John M. Browning’s contributions to firearms. The irony was not lost on visitors.
For right now, until this is contested in court, California will have temporarily won its restriction of open carry. Sea Bears waiters and waitresses can carry concealed.
The owners of the Sea Bears location at Union Station enjoy their new location but will not comment on Dr. Sutton’s restrictions on the carrying of firearms. After all, in business, location is everything.
This is a frightening development. As more Californians move away to seek opportunities elsewhere, neighboring states are going to see more and more California-style gun restrictions creep in through the woodwork.
This means more vigilance on the part of locals. There’s nothing wrong with someone coming from California and bringing their expertise with them. When they attempt to institute their own draconian laws in neighboring states, there has to be an upper limit to that.
The best place to start: the wallet.
The Union Station has a very high operating budget in relation to its income. This major historic site offers a lot of great museums and feature locations ideal for visitors and families. The restaurant location is a source of generated income for this foundation. We believe the Sea Bears have a LOT more leverage in this negotiation than they let on but they’re playing it safe.
For visitors who see signs posted at Union Station, make sure to let staff know that their decision to restrict open carry may influence your decision to return. And do try the seafood. We heard from some of our readers that Sea Bears is the best seafood outside Salt Lake City.