Nashville judge strikes down TN guns-in-bars law
Sponsor says next bill won’t be vague
By Clay Carey and Michael Cass • THE TENNESSEAN • November 21, 2009
“A Davidson County judge ruled Tennessee’s controversial guns-in-bars law unconstitutional at a Friday hearing, prompting the state senator who sponsored the legislation to say he will push the issue again when lawmakers return in a few months.
Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman said the law, enacted earlier this year over the veto of Gov. Phil Bredesen is “fraught with ambiguity.”
She ruled after an hour of arguments in a lawsuit brought by a group of plaintiffs, many of them restaurant owners. More than 257,000 people have handgun carry permits in Tennessee”.
Read the rest of the article here:
Randy Rayburn, owner of Sunset Grill, right, reads a news report about Friday’s court ruling to his staff, including Steven Newvahner, left, during a staff meeting. Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled a law that allows handguns in restaurants is unconstitutional.
JAE S. LEE / THE TENNESSEAN
I’m glad that this ruling has taken place, mainly because I don’t think that guns and alcohol mix well. And, as I’ve said before, if this were really more about public safety and the ability of a guest to defend himself against the bad guys, and less about ramming a pro-gun agenda down the throats of the public, they wouldn’t have written the law to demand that restaurants post a no-guns policy instead of posting a “guns allowed here” sign. Instead of advertising to the bad guys that no guns could be concealed carry and thereby potentially targeting that restaurant for bad deeds, they should have let restaurants advertise that “guns are allowed here”. this would give the public the choice to go to a restaurant where their right to carry a handgun was honored where they could feel safe (since apparently lots of handgun owners feel like they’re constantly under threat). I think the writers of the law thought that a restaurant would be insane to post a no-guns sign because it would make them a target, but restaurant owners and GMs (including the one that I work for) showed far more courage than lawmakers ever gave them credit for and a majority of restaurants have posted such signs.
I’m sure they will go back and tighten up this law (and frankly, I hope it fails again, but that’s just my personal opinion). but if they do, I hope that lawmakers will reconsider the insane backwards logic of making restaurants opt-out instead of opting-in.