Staff Editorial: How long before Sandbar becomes a saloon?

It may sound like the Wild Wild West, but it’s the latest trend today.

Believe it or not, four states now have laws that allow weapon permit holders to carry loaded guns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

Tennessee joined Arizona, Georgia and Virginia in recently giving the thumbs up to allowing loaded guns in bars and restaurants. The new legislation in these four states came about after two landmark Supreme Court rulings which decided that U.S. citizens have an individual right to keep a charged handgun for protection.

This new law, however, does not allow gun permit holders to consume alcohol while they possess a weapon. According to The New York Times, Tennessee State Representative Curry Todd, who initiated this bill, stated, “The police aren’t going to be able to protect you. They’re going to be checking out the crime scene after you and your family’s been shot or injured or assaulted or raped.”

Allowing people to carry deadly weapons in restaurants and bars which serve alcohol is not the solution to tackling Tennessee’s personal safety issue. In fact, a man in Lynchburg, Va. with a weapon permit accidentally shot himself in the leg while drinking beer at a restaurant. By endorsing this bill, we are allowing incidents similar to this to take place.

We must understand that this new risky legislation does not promise safety; it compromises it. Carrying a firearm in public puts citizens at risk. Furthermore, consuming alcohol while carrying a gun will only increase that risk, whether it’s unintentional or intentional.

In Tennessee, if a permit holder gets caught drinking while carrying a gun, he or she will be charged with a misdemeanor and can potentially spend up to a year in jail. This makes us wonder though, how will restaurant and bar staff members know who has a gun in their pocket and who doesn’t? People can easily walk into a bar or restaurant with a dangerous weapon and no one would know. Clearly, the law itself creates a heavy burden for the city.

These four states are not the only ones that have jumped on the “gun and alcohol” bandwagon. Not only have these rulings repealed handgun bans in cities such as D.C. and Chicago, but it has also expanded and strengthened the rights of gun advocates across the nation.

How long till this law is enacted in Florida? Imagine people holding guns at a bar in Grove. It’s a scary thought. We need to stand up and say no to the catastrophic idea of mixing alcohol and guns.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

October 13, 2010


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Staff Editorial: How long before Sandbar becomes a saloon?”

  1. Erick Lara says:

    I found your article very interesting for many reasons. The first four was well written and included facts. You lost me after that though. I see you let your personal biased get in the way of truth. I see how you tried to paint a portrait of crazy gun wielding gun owners. I understand how a carrying a gun may seem scary to someone who has never held one or been properly trained in carrying one and operating it. I think you are confusing Concealed Weapon Permit holders and random gun toting individuals. In order to lawfully carry a concealed firearm you must go through FBI background check, go through an accredited Concealed weapons course which requires the individual to properly and accurately discharge the firearm, and the individual must not have any felonies or misdemeanor on his or her record. You see, no law that either for or against carrying a gun will ever stop an individual from carrying a gun into a public place. That person’s mind has already been made it up and he/she is going to do whatever they like regardless of law. Myself and other responsible gun owners(which make up the majority) have chosen to carry a gun lawfully and obey the law which gave us the privilege and right to do so. Most responsible gun owners do not walk into a bar or restaurant serving alcohol with a loaded gun. We know if caught our rights to carry concealed will be taken away. We choose to give up our safety for that moment to ensure so that we will be able to protect ourselves in future situations. I also found it funny that you were able to find the one gun permit holder idiot who sought to drink and carry at the same time. I bet i can find that one idiot in any group or category to prove my point as well or at least seem like I have one. “People can easily walk into a bar or restaurant with a dangerous weapon and no one would know.” The truth of this matter is that your not supposed to. Its a CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT, your not suppose to reveal that you are lawfully carrying a gun to the public. Also how does this law prevent the maniac who chooses to walk into a an establishment with a gun looking to do harm?
    My opinion just like your article is that I would prefer to have a law that enables me to walk into a bar or restaurant and lawfully carry a weapon. I would feel much safer knowing that if a criminal walks into a bar or restaurant he now faces a dozen or more people carrying a gun as well and would think twice before pulling a stunt. Also I don’t really fear someone attacking me at a bar or restaurant with a lot of people around me, I fear most the walk back to my car at night when I’m alone or have my girlfriend next to me and i don’t have my gun because the law doesn’t allow me to carry when I’m in such an establishment…if myself or God forbid my girlfriend was attacked…what then??

    I like the awareness of new gun laws being enacted around the country but don’t make it seem like people who lawfully carry guns are a danger to society…how many news have you watched where a citizen who has a Gun permit by the State of Florida has gone in to rob a bank, or shoot a grocery store or 7-ll, or has gone around just creating public mayhem for no reason? Most gun owners carry for the sole purpose of protecting themselves and/or family.

    Very Respectfully,
    Florida Concealed Weapon Permit Carrier Erick :)

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.