New York Times Claim: “a handful of mostly Southern states that allow people with permits to take concealed guns into bars and restaurants” that serve alcohol

2 Apr , 2014  

Concealed Carry in places that serve alcohol
The figure is from opencarry.org.

Playing the typical hypothetical possibility angle, the New York Times story quotes one worried restaurant owner saying:

“On some nights you have college kids wall to wall in here drinking,” he said. “You don’t want a gun in here.”

No actual instances are mentioned where this fear has materialized. The New York Times seems to want to paint allowing guns into restaurants and bars as something that only weird Southern states allow. But even USA Today (July 1, 2011) noted a few years ago that permitted concealed handguns are allowed in places that serve alcohol.

Along with a new state budget, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who fought the gun lobby during his campaign last year, has signed a measure allowing concealed weapons in bars, malls, stadiums, museums and other venues that serve alcohol, according to news reports.

The law, Senate Bill 17, prohibits gun owners from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they bring their licensed weapons into establishments that serve alcohol, Reuters notes. Businesses can ban concealed weapons for safety reasons. Already the Cincinnati Bengals football team has said it will ban weapons from its stadium.

Ohio joins 42 other states that allow licensed concealed firearms to be carried into restaurants, but, as The Plain Dealer of Cleveland wrote before Kasich’s signature, “only a handful of states, Tennessee and Arizona among them, have concealed carry laws as broad as Ohio’s pending law in terms of where gun owners can pack.” . . .

Since then states such as North Carolina and South Carolina have also gotten rid of gun-free zones in places that serve alcohol. Indeed, despite the impression created by the New York Times, those two Southern states were relatively late in adopting this rule.

Others have pointed out that the hypothetical fears about guns in places serving alcohol haven’t occurred. As the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted:

Virginia’s bars and restaurants did not turn into shooting galleries as some had feared during the first year of a new state law that allows patrons with permits to carry concealed guns into alcohol-serving businesses, a Richmond Times-Dispatch analysis found.

The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police at the newspaper’s request. . . . .

The point is that permit holders in all these different states are extremely law-abiding, even though permitted concealed handgun holders are allowed in those places that serve alcohol.

The New York Times article is available here (click on screen shots):
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