Ellen's restaurant in downtown Dallas never expected a boycott — and the threats that followed — when adding a short statement to the bottom of customers' receipts for a few days.
The statement said the restaurant would be donating a portion of the week's proceeds to organizations "dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations."
The statement was followed with a "Welcome to Dallas!"
The restaurant was welcoming members of the National Rifle Association to the annual NRA meeting in Dallas, held May 3-6.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The NRA found out about the receipt on May 4 — and posted about it to Twitter:
"Attn @AnnualMeetings attendees. Steer clear of Ellen’s in downtown Dallas! Why go there when there are so many other great choices. #sorrynotsorry #StandAndFight #DefendTheSecond"
That same day, Ellen's took to Facebook to clarify the "issue that has caused quite a bit of confusion and anxiety."
Attached to the post was a photo of an updated receipt — one that said the portion of proceeds will go toward organizations "dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations" while still protecting Second Amendment rights.
Ellen's said it intended to donate some proceeds toward efforts funding "common ground and compromise in the fight to eliminate needless gun violence, especially in our schools and against our dedicated police officers."
But the restaurant had shortened what was meant due to a limited number of characters, according to the post.
"What was not expected was that those two words -- reasonable and effective -- would be misinterpreted as our support for gun control," the post says. "The mistake was an honest one. The opposite is true. We support the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, 100%."
Despite the post, the owner of Ellen's restaurant began to receive threats, according to BuzzFeed News.
"We’ve had people calling and say they’re going to shoot the place up, one that implied he would be burning us down today. Ridiculous people," Joe Groves, owner of Ellen's restaurant, told BuzzFeed.
The restaurant also received hundreds of angry messages on social media, according to BuzzFeed, and about 50 one-star reviews on Yelp.
"Way to ruin your business! When will you left wing nutjobs get it??" one reviewer wrote. "Have never been there and never will. Will be sharing their shameful views and scam far and wide!"
Another reviewer said he would not eat there even if he was paid to.
Others, however, stood up for the business — and gave 5-star reviews on Yelp.
"Thank you for standing up for reasonable (gun) reforms," one reviewer wrote. "It's sad that people feel the need to bully others."
"A lot of people have been writing bad reviews about this place because they support gun safety laws, notice how all the negative comments are around 5/6/2018," another person wrote. "People writing these comment would rather support the racket known as the NRA than save lives."
Groves told BuzzFeed that the outrage has been frustrating to him — and he hasn't yet decided which organization will receive a portion of this week's proceeds.
"My view is to protect the Second Amendment but keep people from murdering children in schools," he said.