Tags: arizona | gun | bill

Arizona Moves to OK Guns in Bars, Restaurants

Sunday, 28 Jun 2009 05:12 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

PHOENIX - There was a time in the Wild West that cowboys had to check their guns before they could pull up a bar stool for a drink—rules that protected against the saloon gunfights that came to define the frontier era in places like Arizona.

But a bill moving through the Arizona Legislature has some bar owners fearful that the state is turning back the clock to the Old West. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow anyone with a concealed-weapons permit to bring a handgun into bars and restaurants serving alcohol.

The bill gives bars discretion to keep gun-toting patrons out, and anyone with a weapon would not be allowed to drink. But the bill has angered bar owners who believe booze and guns are a recipe for disaster.

"This might be one of the stupidest things that I have heard of," said Mike Nelson, who owns Pomeroy's bar in Phoenix and plans to post a sign on his front door outlawing guns in his bar as soon as possible. "Can you think of a single reason guns and alcohol should be intertwined?"

The bill is part of a nationwide push by the National Rifle Association. Georgia passed a similar law in 2008, as did Tennessee earlier this year in becoming the 40th state to allow bar or restaurant patrons to carry guns.

"These laws are common sense," said NRA spokeswoman Rachel Parsons. "Restaurants are not immune to criminal activity. Law-abiding people—regardless of whether they're in restaurants, cars or homes—they should be able to protect themselves against criminal attack."

One of the bill's sponsors, Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, said it's about time Arizona passes such a law, and that the most important thing is that people carrying guns into bars aren't allowed to drink.

"You don't want intoxicated people with weapons, and this bill continues the prohibition against drinking and carrying," said Kavanagh, a retired police officer in New York and New Jersey. "What is the problem with having a gun in a delicatessen where someone is having a beer with their pastrami two tables away?"

The law would only apply to people with concealed-weapons permits because lawmakers say that type of gun owner has to pass a background check and take an eight-hour course to get their permits, and are therefore safer. More than 127,000 Arizonans have concealed-weapons permits, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Arizonans are also allowed to openly carry guns—on a belt or holster, for example. But those people would still not be allowed in bars or restaurants serving alcohol if they're armed.

The bill has been approved by the Senate and is now before the House; Republican Gov. Jan Brewer would still have to OK it.

Marc Peagler, owner of the Silver Spur Saloon Restaurant in Cave Creek outside Phoenix, said he's in favor of the legislation and sees some marketing potential in it.

"I look at it this way—let's just say for a moment you're a crook or a thief," Peagler said. "Are you going to break into a place where you know that there might be 10 to 15 people who are armed? I wouldn't do that."

Peagler, a gun owner himself, said people with concealed-weapons permits aren't people to be concerned about.

"People who carry concealed weapons for the most part are your general law-abiding citizens, and the people who are going to break the law are going to do it no matter what laws we have out there," he said. "If somebody has been drinking and they have a weapon in the car, they're just going to go out and get it."

Frank Murray, owner of Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub & Restaurant in downtown Phoenix, said he opposes the law and will prohibit his customers from coming in armed.

"It's kind of like the Wild West days," he said. "We've got enough nuts out on the street walking around with guns. We don't need them in places with alcohol and families."

The Arizona Licensed Beverage Association threw its support behind the bill after some compromises were made this week. The Arizona Restaurant Association has taken a neutral stance, but in previous years came out against most bills that would have allowed guns in bars and restaurants with alcohol.

This year's bill is one of several measures loosening gun laws moving through the Arizona Legislature.

In May, the House overwhelmingly approved a bill that would permit gun owners to keep a weapon out of sight in a locked vehicle in a parking lot or garage. That would override employers that ban weapons on their property.

Last week, a Senate committee approved a bill that would allow Arizonans to carry concealed weapons without state permits, despite objections from law enforcement.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Calif. Bill Allows Families to Seek 'Gun Restraining' Order

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 08:06 AM

California would become the first state to allow family members to petition judges to take away relatives' guns if they  . . .

Body of Missing Arkansas Real Estate Agent Found

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:53 AM

Police have discovered the body of an Arkansas real estate agent in a shallow grave after she was reported missing last  . . .

Virginia Police: Forensic Evidence Links 2 Cases

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:44 AM

They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. O . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved