Restaurant Gun Bill in TN

March 11, 2010

The Tennessean reports today that state officials are contentiously debating a bill to allow handguns into all restaurant, including those that serve alcohol.  (Previously, firearms were permissible in restaurants with no liquor license.  This new bill seeks to amend that and allow handguns into all restaurants–liquor license or not.)  Supporters of the bill say that this current legislature also clarifies guidelines for signage if restaurant want to prohibit handguns.  State Rep. Curry Todd (R-Collierville) and state Sen. Doug Jackson (D-Dickson) are sponsoring the bill.

Someone please answer this for me: why is it necessary to carry handguns into a restaurant?  What exactly are the bill’s supporters trying to defend themselves from when they go into a restaurant?  If you’re afraid of some inebriated person attacking you, then this new bill would not only allow you to carry a gun–but that drunk attacker can have a gun as well.  This new bill does not solve any problems, it will only beget new ones.

Supporters say that clear signage is part of the solution.  This is completely absurd.

Here’s a solution, if you want to carry a gun and drink alcohol, do it in your own home.

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4 Responses to “Restaurant Gun Bill in TN”

  1. Landen Saffles Says:

    I can understand your sentiment regarding this issue. However, there was some degree of misinformation present in this post. If this bill passes, it will still be just as illegal to possess a firearm while under the influence as it was before. It only gives individuals 1) with handgun permits and 2) who are NOT drinking alcohol the right to carry on the premises of restaurants who have NOT banned firearms possession, which restaurants will have the right to do. There are several possible positive effects to this bill: 1) It will protect casual diners or designated drivers who might find themselves in an altercation, 2) It will give women with carry permits the chance to defend themselves in possible violent encounters with those under the influence in restaurant parking lots and less-frequented indoor areas, 3) It will empower responsible THP carriers to maintain their weapon on their person, and thus preventing the dangerous possibility of someone less responsible from stealing weapons left behind in cars while permit holders enjoy their meals. Here’s another thought: If someone intends to commit a violent crime in a bar or anywhere guns are currently restricted, isn’t a firearms restriction the least of their worries? That will likely be the least serious charge they will face if they committ such an offense. Only responsible, legally armed citizens concern themselves with abiding by carry restrictions. The irresponsible will continue to be so regardless of the law.

    • pickledandfried Says:

      Landen, There is no misinformation in our post just disagreement about outcomes. I don’t think we know exactly who is and isn’t a “responsible” gun owner. There is currently no exam that can determine this. A permit does not distinguish between the two. Anywhere alcohol is served things can get out of hand and guns just escalate the situation. When I go out to dinner I don’t want to have to worry about an angry husband, an offended patron, or a regular old jerk with a gun. We need less guns not more!

  2. Landen Saffles Says:

    Your blog insenuates that one can now carry while drinking. From your blog: “If you’re afraid of some inebriated person attacking you, then this new bill would not only allow you to carry a gun–but that drunk attacker can have a gun as well. Here’s a solution, if you want to carry a gun and drink alcohol, do it in your own home.” This is misinformation; drinking while carrying a weapon will still be illegal, as I stated in my previous post. In fact, the legal penalty for consuming alcohol while carrying will be increased substantially by this bill. Additionally, there is a process handgun permittees must undergo to ascertain they are qualified to carry a handgun. These include an 8 hour class on handgun safety/handling and carry laws and an extensive background check. There are many more stipulations involved in acquiring a handgun permit than there are in purchasing a firearm (in Tennessee, at least). Granted, there are those who fall through the cracks of this system and there are sometimes normally-responsible people who randomly act irresponsibly, but with the use of this logic in application you might also be concerned about law enforcement officers carrying handguns. I am not trying to argue with you. It just seems that the author of this blog misunderstood the content of this bill, and there’s no reason to get other community members worrying alongside you over a misunderstanding. If there is any dispute of these clarifications, the content of the bill may be reviewed via Bill Number HB 3125 on the Tennessee General Assembly Website: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/.

  3. pickledandfried Says:

    Thanks for your insights. Again we feel this legislation is wrong-headed. It emboldens folks to bring their guns where liquor is served. What happens after that is anybody’s guess. I don’t feel more safe around guns, I feel less safe. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.


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