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Thread: Tennesee Firearms Assoc. Executive Director points out gun carry in restaurants may still be legal

  1. #1
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    See previous discussion at http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum50/38281.html(linking to Examiner.com article quoting Tennessee Law professor regarding the law of "unconstitutional vagueness").

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    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...NION01/3240347

    Guest editorial: Change simplifies handgun carry law

    By John Harris • March 24, 2010

    SNIP

    . . .

    Last year the legislature . . . made a reasoned policy decision that the state should not have a blanket prohibition regarding handgun permit holders going into restaurants that serve alcohol. . . . For several months, handgun permit owners went into restaurants such as O'Charley's and Logan's under this exception. Despite claims that drunken shootouts would result, the time was uneventful, as experience in other states had proven.

    Then a lawsuit was filed regarding the 2009 law, claiming that the law was too vague for permit holders to understand. A Nashville judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional because the definition of a "restaurant" was so vague that the average citizen and police officer could not fairly know which restaurants were within the narrow exception. Significantly, the judge did not decide that the policy decision allowing handgun permit holders to carry in places where alcohol was served was unconstitutional.

    Although the state has appealed the judge's ruling, that could take several years to resolve and there is uncertainty regarding the status of the law while the appeal is pending. The legislative sponsors concluded that the right solution is to delete any possible ambiguity.

    The legislature is moving forward with a change that simply removes the non-discretionary law that creates a blanket prohibition regarding carrying firearms in places where alcohol or beer is served for consumption on site.

    The effect of this change would be that such places would be treated the same as any other business. No longer would restaurants that can serve alcohol or beer be treated differently than restaurants that do not. This simplifies things for handgun permit holders, law enforcement, the judge and the plaintiff.
    With this change in the law, the public carrying of firearms remains illegal, but there are exceptions for on-duty officers and state-issued carry permit holders. With this change, the consumption of alcohol while in possession of a firearm remains a crime. Private property owners retain the option to prohibit handgun permit holders on their property.

    This change evidences a policy decision by the state that it is best if property owners and their patrons addressed this issue in their own context.

    The rights of property owners are relieved of governmental micromanagement.
    The rights of a citizen to decide when and where she carries a firearm for her own defense is freed from unnecessary government infringement.



  2. #2
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    Any other stories on this issue?

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