A Seattle chain of ice cream shops called Molly Moon’s made headlines after the owner placed a sign at her Capitol Hill location announcing armed police officers were no longer welcome. The sign read, “Police Officers: Molly Moon’s is a gun-free zone. Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm. No guns allowed inside.”
Throughout America, all cities and counties that employ police officers require that they carry firearms. This isn’t optional when in uniform. It’s a requirement. So, in effect, Molly Moon Neitzel was banning all police officers while on duty. It should also be noted that police officers cannot de-arm themselves while on the clock; it’s against regulations. Additionally, Moon Neitzel revealed she is an “anti-cop” activist.
According to Fox13, Moon Neitzel, the owner and founder of the local ice cream chain, said the sign was her idea. After she posted it, she received threats on social media. “I am anti the current police system,” she said. “Yeah, I think we need major reform.” Moon Neitzel said she’d had signs in her shops for the last five years saying they are “gun-free zones,” but this was specifically directed at police.
When an anonymous patron paid $500 so officers could come in and get ice cream for free, that spurred Moon Neitzel to ban police officers. “We had a few hundred come in packing their guns and it was making my black and brown employees feel uncomfortable,” Moon Neitzel claimed. That’s when customer Carl Smith showed up to hug her and drop $500 of his own. “Anyone who comes to Molly Moon’s today, ice cream is on me,” Smith said. “I just really support what she’s doing.”
However, not everyone joined the ice cream party. “You know we’re human beings,” said Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. “I don’t think the reasonable community in Seattle is saying we allow police, but they can’t be armed.” Solan denounced the sign as “political pandering” that could backfire. “Have a conversation,” Solan said. “And maybe we can enjoy ice cream at your great business, but we’re going to do it while armed.”
Reporter Matt Lorch asked the Seattle community how they felt about Molly Moon’s policy banning armed police officers. “I will never bring my business to them ever. Telling all my 2nd amendment friends to do the same,” Matthew Franklin wrote on Lorch’s Facebook post. “Well, here’s one place I won’t be going,” Shelli Olin declared. “Pointing out that police are not welcomed if they’re carrying, and btw I hope they are always carrying. Really? I feel safer if there is a policeman there with his sidearm.”
“This is really unfortunate…there’s a way to ask for a gun-free zone while serving officers who have to carry guns,” Katherine Cheng wrote. “It’s not helpful to target all police. It’s disappointing to see the language on their site clearly stating that they were asking police officers to leave their stores. That just seems counter to what we should be doing here, building community.”
One community member had a question for Molly Moon Neitzel. “Question: what is YOUR plan of action if a criminal walks in and starts shooting?” Chloe Stivala asked on the Facebook post. “Can’t call the police; you have already alienated them. They may respond via Tacoma….. just saying… you have already shown them what you and your employees think of them. Good luck.” Then, there was this comment by Corey McKenzie: “So disappointing and ridiculous. They should be welcoming police and giving them free scoops!”
According to KIRO7, Molly Moon Neitzel, who has a history of activism, said she realizes her position may further impact her bottom line, but she didn’t seem to care. “I am going to be a business person and an activist that continues to speak truth to as I see it,” she said.