Bergeron's restaurant: Home of God, gumbo and guns

This piece originally aired on Nov. 12, 2014.

Several national chains, like Chipotle and Target, strongly discourage customers from bringing in guns, even if it's legal.

But one Louisiana restaurant is taking the opposite approach, actually encouraging their patrons to bring guns, reports CBS News' Mark Strassmann.

Bergeron's restaurant calls itself the home of God, gumbo and guns.

There's a 10 percent discount to anyone with a firearm. Not just cops -- anyone -- and all you have to do is prove it to one of the workers.

"Show it to me out of your purse, out of your back pocket, show it to me," Bergeron's restaurant owner Kevin Cox said said. "Show that you have one so if something goes wrong here today I know you're here to protect me."

He started the gun discount six weeks ago.

The restaurant's lunch business has jumped 25 percent. Cox has also added a dinner menu and hired four more employees. He said his customers are helping him send a larger message: other stores that have banned guns, like Target, are making themselves targets.

"You make a gun-free zone, that's where bad people with guns are going to go -- dumbest thing I've ever heard," Cox said. "So I'm trying to prove that this is the right route to go. Somebody gets robbed every day, not me."

Rusty Hughes, a 55 year-old valve salesman, now eats here three times a week.

"It's not about the money," he said. "It's about the freedom of being able to go have some really good food with some really good people and be able to carry your firearm with you."

Hughes showed up with his Smith and Wesson .22 Magnum. His has a six-inch barrel.

"You feel calm, like your cameraman came up behind me a while ago saying, 'I want to take a picture of you from behind, I don't wanna scare you.'" Hughes said. "I said 'You don't scare me, I'm the one that's got the gun.'"

Louisiana is one of 31 states that allow adults to carry firearms openly without a permit. Cox estimates that out of his 500 daily lunch customers, 20 brought their guns, often worn on their hips.

Olivia Carambat drove 20 minutes out of her way to eat here and brought her .38 Smith and Wesson revolver with her. She said she always carries it.

"It makes me feel like, we're finally standing up as a group of people and saying, 'no, you're not taking our guns,'" she said.

Bergeron's does not serve alcohol. Many of its customers, including Rusty Hughes, turn down the discount or say give the money to charity.

And even he knows that some people might not understand the gun-friendly policy.

"Oh, well, certainly they'll think it's crazy," Hughes said. "It may scare some soccer mom that gets off the interstate and comes in here to get a hamburger and she's from California, but, as a rule, most people here are very, very cool with it."

And that means many Bergeron's customers will likely continue to pack more than an appetite for Jambalaya.