One thing I hate about carrying in Virginia is the stupid restaurant ban.Â You can’t carry into any place that’s licensed to serve alcohol while concealing your weapon, even if you don’t intend to order a drink.Â If you want, you can go all VCDL and unconceal it, but I’m pretty sure that would get me kicked out of a lot of the restaurants in Alexandria.
Contrast to Pennsylvania where you can carry into restaurants and bars.Â You can even belly up to the bar and order a beer while carrying.Â Not that I recommend carrying while intoxicated, but the law makes the presumption that people are going to be reasonable; I like that.
So how about it Virginia? Â Can we get rid of this crap? Â Probably not, because the meme will be “The NRA and VCDL want drunks to carry.” which is crap, but that’ll be the meme. Â There’s also the fools at the other NRA, the National Restaurant Association, who will come out against it.Â So perhaps we can at least restructure the law here. Â How about off limits violations are a summary offense rather than the current penalty, which I believe is carrying without a license? Â Or go the Missouri route, and make violation no penalty at all, but getting caught more than once puts your license at risk. Â To me, these all seem to be reasonable alternatives if you can’t outright eliminate the restaurant ban.
Virginia’s carry laws are pretty good except for the restaurant thing. Â Certainly better than a lot of other southern states, who have overly restrictive off-limits places.Â Tennessee, for instance, bans carry in all parks and National and State Forests, which seems highly silly.Â Or Georgia, which has a general public gathering exception.Â Or the various southern states which prohibit carry into polling places.Â Come on guys, you can’t let a bunch of damned Yankees beat you on this one ;)