Police are welcome at Seattle ice cream shop — but their guns aren’t, owner says

Maddie Capron

No armed police officers are allowed inside a popular Seattle ice cream shop, the store says.

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream on Capitol Hill posted a sign saying no one who is armed is welcome inside the shop, social media posts say.

“Police officers: Molly Moon’s is a gun-free zone,” the sign reads. “Please do not come inside if you are wearing a firearm.”

Owner Molly Moon-Neitzel told KIRO7 she put the sign up because “a few hundred” police officers were in the area after CHOP, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone, was dismantled.

Seattle police cleared the zone where protesters “occupied several blocks for about two weeks after police abandoned a precinct station,” the Associated Press reported. The protests were part of nationwide action after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis.

“Last week, as CHOP was being dismantled, and there was a flood of police officers here in the neighborhood, they were intimidating and causing some of my Black and brown employees to feel unsafe,” Moon-Neitzel told KIRO7.

There are at least eight Molly Moon’s locations in Washington, according to the company’s website. The sign calling out police only hangs at the Capitol Hill store. Every shop has been gun-free for about five years, Moon-Neitzel told KOMO News.

The owner felt she needed to clarify that the policy includes police officers at the Capitol Hill location because so many police were there, according to the news outlet. It is not meant to ban law enforcement from the store, Neitzel told Eater Seattle.

“We do not ever want to put our employees in a confrontational situation of having to ask police officers to leave, especially our BIPoC employees,” Molly Moon’s said, according to Eater.

Some police leaders, however, say the signs are “divisive,” according to KIRO7.

“I feel it’s divisive rhetoric. I view it as political pandering,” Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told KIRO7. “It’s more divisiveness at a time when we need more unity.”

Solan told Q13 that it’s not reasonable and police are going to be armed.

“If they want to come into my shop and buy ice cream without a gun, they are welcome,” Moon-Neitzel told Q13. “I am going to continue to be a business person and activist that continues to see truth as I see it.”