Restaurants or wild west saloons? SC passes concealed weapons bill

Why Not? What’s wrong with dinner and guns? photo: upi/Kevin Dietsch

This Tuesday, February 11, 2014, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will sign into law the Concealed Carry Reform Bill.  This bill will allow people with a concealed firearms license to carry their weapons with them into bars and restaurants.  This despite the fact that officer-involved related shootings are on the increase in South Carolina.  There have already been seven officer-involved shootings in South Carolina in 2014 alone.  According to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, “It’s a culture that’s been created where people use guns to solve a problem.”

There have been many concerns from various South Carolina legislators regarding this bill.  State representative Walt McLeod, D-Newberry said, “Booze, beer and wine is powerful stuff.  It causes people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.”  Proponents of the bill say the fear of fines and penalties will help prevent any problems.  Concealed weapons carriers must adhere to an honor system that precludes them from drinking any alcoholic beverages when they are armed in restaurants or bars.  Read more of the debates from both sides in this article from The State newspaper.

While bars are normally frequented by adults, many are concerned because the bill allows concealed weapons to be carried in bars and restaurants.  Families with children are frequently seen dining in restaurants like Ruby Tuesdays, Applebee’s, Fatz, Hooters, and other chains that have bars, where weapons would be allowed.  The bill does allow for owners of an establishment to post a sign banning weapons, but then again the restaurant staff will have to rely on the patrons to comply since customers will not be searched to see if they are carrying concealed weapons before ordering an alcoholic beverage.

My favorite Christmas present from "Santa".  photo:  Instagram/Nikki Haley

My favorite Christmas present from “Santa”. photo: Instagram/Nikki Haley

Gov. Nikki Haley pushed hard for the passage of the Concealed Carry Reform Bill.  This past Christmas she spread the news of her excitement that “Santa” had given her a Berretta PX4 Storm.  You can read more about what she called a “good time” at target practice in this ABC News article.  She posted an open invitation on her Facebook page for everyone to join her in the Statehouse lobby for the signing of the bill this Tuesday at 10:30am.

Gov. Haley knows her way around guns.  photo:  Facebook/Nikki Haley

Gov. Haley knows her way around guns. photo: Facebook/Nikki Haley

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4 Responses to “Restaurants or wild west saloons? SC passes concealed weapons bill”

  1. 3boxesofbs Says:

    Isn’t this pretty much the same hysteria that gets publicized anytime a ‘gun law’ is changed?

    From passing of Concealed Carry (blood in the streets, fights over parking spots, etc) to ‘Restaurant Carry’ (OMG people can drink and carry guns — shootouts in bars).
    Time after time we hear this hysteria and in the end; nothing really happens.

    Nothing stops people from carrying in bars and restaurants now; no one searches them, no one has metal detectors. So what will really change?

    Nothing.

    I find it ironic that some many people complain about a law like this — ignoring the fact that it is perfectly legal to drive a car to a bar and drink. People are relying on the honor system not to drink and drive…..an activity that kills more people than firearms.

    • Pamela Kay Noble Brown Says:

      3boxesofbs yes I agree hysteria probably plays a part in the reactions to these types of laws. And drinking and driving is an evil that is rapidly and tragically growing. I always thought, perhaps in error, that most people who carried weapons, left them in the car when they went into family establishments such as restaurants. But then again maybe they always had them on their person and I just didn’t feel uneasy because I didn’t know,

      On the one hand if something bad happens, it’s a relief to know there will be some armed good guys there to protect us until the police arrive. However if two drunks get into a fight and both are armed, the flying bullets will not know to dodge children eating with their parents. But I hope you are right and this is much ado about nothing,

      • 3boxesofbs Says:

        Ma’am,

        Most people who carry legally did leave them in the car or left them at home if they went to a place that prohibits them.

        That is the law. Texas tracks convictions of license holders, has since the inception of the license. During that time, CHL holder were never greater than 0.5% of all the convictions for a year. And that was when the program was new and people were learning where they could or could not carry — many people were given bad legal advice; some of it by the state.

        However if two drunks get into a fight and both are armed, the flying bullets will not know to dodge children eating with their parents.

        If the type of people who get drunk and draw are going to do it, do you really think a ‘law’ prohibiting them from carrying would have stopped them ?

        What will more likely happen is a waitress won’t be raped. A manager will be able to stop a robbery (and think of how many privately owned small businesses are restaurants) and people will be safer.

        Forgive me for saying this but it doesn’t sound like you have much experience with firearms. I’m one of many gun bloggers who offer to take people to a range for their first shots.
        If you aren’t in the Dallas Fort Worth area, I’ll offer to find a person willing to meet you at a range and let you try a variety of firearms. If you are in the DFW, I would be happy to offer the same.

  2. Pamela Kay Noble Brown Says:

    Nothing to forgive. I admit I am a little antsy around guns. However, I do respect the rights of others to legally and safely carry them. Thanks for the offer, but I’m not quite ready to handle a firearm. 🙂 The passing of this bill here in South Carolina did surprise me a bit, but I hope everything works out well.

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