Tough Battle on Restaurant Carry in Virginia

It’s hard to win on gun rights when the media just flat out refuses to characterize your issue properly.  Virginia is considering a bill, which is eminently reasonable, that will allow concealed carry license holder to carry in restaurants licensed to serve alcohol provided they do not consume any.  Here’s how the Roanoke Times characterizes it:

The Senate last week passed a bill, with the help of Roanoke’s Sens. John Edwards and Ralph Smith, that would allow those with permits to carry concealed guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.

They must tell a designated employee they’re packing, and they must abstain from drinking or risk a misdemeanor. But who would be the wiser?

We don’t think guns and booze belong in the same building and support those establishments that ban any and all weapons from their premises. But at least with open carry, there is transparency about who is and who is not toting a weapon to happy hour.

How much more transparent can you get than having to go up and tell someone at the restaurant you’re packing heat?  This is about as transparent as you can get.  It’s ridiculously transparent, in fact, given that I would never have to do such a thing in most other states.  The Roanoke Times doesn’t even consider the alternative is people leaving loaded firearms in cars where they could be stolen.  But their coverage is at least better than the New York Times, which says:

The Senate’s retreat from gun controls was compounded by its repeal of another worthy Kaine priority — a ban on people swaggering into bars with concealed weapons and make-my-day fantasies.

Yeah, because that’s exactly the bill that’s being proposed.  And they wonder why they are going down the crapper.

8 thoughts on “Tough Battle on Restaurant Carry in Virginia”

  1. I think they realize they’re losing.

    They wouldn’t bother misrepresenting things if they were still in control of the agenda.

    One step at a time, we are winning the meme war.

  2. “repeal of another worthy Kaine priority”

    How can you repeal a priority?

    The VA Senate just chose not to agree with the governor’s priority. I guess English is a second language with the “newspaper of record”

  3. They must tell a designated employee they’re packing, and they must abstain from drinking or risk a misdemeanor. But who would be the wiser?

    How is that any different than the current situation? Currently, anyone can illegally conceal and drink without the bartender’s knowledge.

  4. This we do not need – *Guns?* –
    “But too many lose sight of the fact that the Heller decision was a 5-4 decision. Four justices – only one short of a majority – adopted the liberal argument that the Second Amendment does not involve any rights whatsoever for private citizens. The Second Amendment was only a single vote away from being eradicated from the Constitution.”

    Where has Mr. Blackwell been since, oh, a couple of hours after the decision? Is he unaware (barely acceptable) or is it something else? ALL NINE JUSTICES EXPLICITLY STATED THAT THE AMENDMENT DECLARED AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT! Three thought that while it might be unConstitutional the case should go back to a lower court for more work, while one claimed that the “regulations” were not a “ban” and so were not in violation of the Constitution.

  5. Like Variable said … the real loss of logic here is the idea that:

    If you ban CCW holders from entering a bar, they will refrain from drinking when armed and honor that law.
    If you let them enter the bar when armed they will NOT be able to refrain from drinking.

    Interesting how the door is such a magical threshold of self will.

    The fact that some small percentage of people will choose to booze up while in possession of a gun, with a CCW or without, is a reason why responsible CCW holders not drinking would want to be armed. And other patrols would want them armed as well.

  6. Sebastian, the comment thread at the Roanoke Times is still going. It’s up to 59 comments, and over half of those are from today – on an editorial that ran yesterday!

    I put a quick post with links on my blog yesterday, encouraging people to go participate – but actually having readers would get more people there! :)

  7. Two things about this situation that ought to be clarified.

    First, the establishment does not actually have to serve alcoholic beverages in order for concealed carry to be prohibited there. If the business holds a license to dispense alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption from the VA Alcoholic Beverage Commission (VA ABC), then concealed carry is prohibited in that establishment. So, you can conceal carry where alcohol is sold, as long as such is not sold for the purposes of on-site consumption. The pain in the tuckus is that you can’t assume that you can carry in a particular establishment simply because you don’t see beer being served; you have to look up the place on the VA ABC website to find out if they have an active license.

    The upside, however, is that VA law only prohibits concealed carry. Open carry of your pistol is perfectly legal. If I am going to a place that has a VA ABC license, I simply take off my cover garment and carry openly. If my choice is between frightening the sheep or leaving my gun in the car, then there are gonna be some frightened sheep. The safety of my wife and infant son means infinitely more to me than the discomfort of some hysteric in sore need of Valium.

    As an aside, my wife and I enjoy Mediterranean and African food. So, when we’re in the mood for that type of food, we simply go to places that qualify as “halal” (the Muslim version of kosher). For an establishment to be halal means that they don’t allow alcohol at all (hence, no need for a license).

  8. I’ve always wondered that about Virginia. Like some hotels have bars in them. Is the whole hotel off limits? Probably so, by a literal reading of the law.

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