Monday, October 04, 2010

Guns and alcohol are a growing legal mix

We've been following Tennessee's steps toward allowing guns in bars, most recently here, but the Volunteer State isn't the only one moving in that direction. "Tennessee is one of four states, along with Arizona, Georgia and Virginia, that recently enacted laws explicitly allowing loaded guns in bars," Malcolm Gay reports for The New York Times. "The new measures in Tennessee and the three other states come after two landmark Supreme Court rulings that citizens have an individual right — not just in connection with a well-regulated militia — to keep a loaded handgun for home defense." (Times photo by Josh Anderson)

In addition to the four states allowing guns in bars, 18 other states allow guns in restaurants that serve alcohol. "The new laws have also brought to light the status of 20 other states — New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts among them — that do not address the question, appearing by default to allow those with permits to carry guns into establishments that serve alcohol, according to the Legal Community Against Violence, a nonprofit group that promotes gun control and tracks state gun laws," Gay writes. Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, explains, "A lot of states for a long time have not felt the need to say you could or couldn't do it. There weren't as many conceal-carry permits out there, so it wasn't really an issue."

Now, he said, "the attitude from the gun lobby is that they should be able to take their guns wherever they want," Helmke told Gay. "In the last year, they’re starting to move toward needing no permit at all." Under Tennessee's law, gun permit holders are not supposed to actually drink alcohol while carrying their weapons. Critics of the laws say "The provision is no guarantee of safety, pointing to a recent shooting in Virginia where a customer who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon shot himself in the leg while drinking beer at a restaurant," Gay writes. (Read more)


Anonymous said...

Obvious bias here - the two organizations solicited for comments are both zealously working to infringe Americans' God-given, Constitutionally recognized right "to own and bear arms". I'm sure the NRA would gladly provide a comment and put things in perspective for the ignorant.

Also for the ignorant: "A well regulated militia" is a bunch of guys who are good shots, with arms at the ready.
An accurate marksman was called a "regulator".
The term certainly has no reference to making a bunch of laws.
Context is everything!

And I will add, Hoplophobia is the fear of weapons. It's a free country, fear whatever floats your boat, weapons, the Boogieman; but when one's attempts to outlaw the objects of their phobia infringes on another's God-given, Constitutionally recognized rights, that's where America begins to veer off course.

Jamie, from the greenest state in the land of the free.

Pete Klein said...

What about our God given right to be naked? We were born naked and God didn't have a problem with that. Shouldn't we be allowed to be naked in restaurants and bars? Might be difficult to hide a weapon but...can't have everything.