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Tag Archives: new Tennessee gun law

No guns allowed sign posted

I’m proud to report that a shiny new “No guns allowed” sticker now graces the front door of our restaurant. I just noticed it, and it might have been there for a while.

As I previously posted, a new law allowing concealed weapons in establishments serving alcohol was passed and went into effect in July. In a little bit of insanity, an establishment has to publically opt out instead of publically opting in. I think that legislators underestimated the willingness of restaurant operators to post “No guns” signs. I think they thought that operators would be too timid to risk the wrath of gun owners and wouldn’t like the idea of saying that their restaurant doesn’t have gun-toting vigilanties ready to gun down a bad guy.

As I also pointed out, if these people had been looking out for the public safety, they would have had restaurants have to post “Guns allowed here” signs. This would theoretically send a message to the potential perp that he or she wasn’t alone in packing. Instead, they are marking restaurants as “easy marks”. So, you would think that most restaurants wouldn’t opt out. However, in Nashville at least, signs are popping up like so many dandelions. Earlier, it was estimated that up to 75% of all Metro restaurants will opt out. I don’t know if that will end up being the number, but there sure are a lot of restaurants doing it. And frankly, I didn’t think my GM would do it. Kudos to the GM. My GM likes shooting Glocks at the range as much as any other red-blooded American, but understands the danger of mixing alcohol and guns, having to deal with potential powderkegs every once in a while (like just a week ago when I had to help escort a belligerant asshole outside).

I think that the Nashville restaurant community is pretty brave standing up to this backwards law. And there are restaurant people trying to get it declared unconstitutional (to state law). I support their efforts. I believe that Memphis is also going this route as well. Both communities have already banned guns in their municipal parks (they were allowed to do that in the bill). 70 cities have also taken this step.

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Poll finds around 75% of restaurants in Memphis and Nashville will ban guns

“Walt Baker, CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality Association, said his group has received about 100 responses to a statewide survey of 650 restaurant owners. He said 78 percent of the respondents said they would ban guns on their premises.

Of the other 22 percent, about half were concerned that posting signs would hurt business by turning off potential customers who aren’t familiar with the law and might wonder about a restaurant’s reputation.

The percentages are about the same among Memphis restaurant owners, said Mike Miller, president of the Memphis Restaurant Association.”

Read the whole article here:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090721/NEWS0201/907210344/Many+Tennessee+restaurants+will+ban+guns

As background, the Tennessee legislature has passed the only law in the nation that specifically allows guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and bars. It allows the restaurant owner to opt out if they post a sign saying that no guns are allowed.

(Editorial comment follows):

As some have pointed out, it would have been more logical to let restaurant owners “opt-in” rather than opt-out. That way, you’d post a sign saying that guns were allowed, which seems like a more logical way to keep “the bad guys” away instead of letting the bad guys know that fewer people would presumably be armed in a given establishment. But public safety really wasn’t the gun lobby and the gun fanatics goal here, despite protestations to the contrary. This opt-out clause proves that. It also shows that the gun lobby and the legislature is willing to sacrifice public safety in order to promote an agenda. Sad.

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