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Tag Archives: Tennessee gun law

Nashville server’s lawsuit says guns in bars create unsafe workplace

Nashville server’s lawsuit says guns in bars create unsafe workplace

Complaint says firearms in bars create unsafe work environment

By Nate Rau • THE TENNESSEAN • August 31, 2010

A Nashville server has filed a complaint with the state alleging that the mixture of guns and bars creates an unsafe work environment.

The server works at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro in Hillsboro Village. The complaint kept the person’s name anonymous.

The complaint alleges that it is a violation of Tennessee Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations to allow permit holders to carry guns into places that serve alcohol, such as Jackson’s.

Read the rest of the article here:

I’ve been clear in the past – I think that mixing guns and alcohol in public is recipe for disaster. This was a craven attempt by the NRA and gun groups to eliminate all types of gun control. They claimed it was for public safety to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their guns into restaurants, but they betrayed that falsehood by requiring restaurants to opt out instead of opt in. In Tennessee, you have to post a sign saying that you don’t allow guns. that’s basically a flashing arrow to the criminals saying that this place is an easier mark than one that doesn’t have such a sign. If public safety were really an issue, restaurants would have to post “Guns Allowed Here” because a sign like that is a far bigger deterrent to a criminal than the lack of a sign. It’s a testament to the bravery of Nashville restaurants that they have stood up to this law by overwhelmingly forbidding guns in their restaurants. Some estimate this number at 75 – 80%. Even virtually every bar and restaurant in downtown Nashville, a place where you’d think that a restaurant or bar might want gun-totin’ guests, disallows guns in their establishments.

I hope this silly law gets thrown out…again.

Judge strikes down guns in bars and restaurant law in Tennessee

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.

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.

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.


Court challenge to Tennessee allowing guns in alcohol-serving establishments

First of all, I’m against concealed carry permit holders bringing their weapons into my restaurant or any other restaurant. Alcohol and guns don’t mix well. And I’ve heard all of the arguments.

Basically, the law states that a permit holder can bring a weapon into an establishment that serves alcohol but can’t drink while carrying.  The article that I’m linking to implies that Tennessee might be the only state out of the 37 states that allow concealed-carry permits to specifically allow guns in bars and restaurants (27 forbid it outright). Tennessee has also recently passed a law that allows guns to be toted in public parks as well, which seems rather insane to me. Governor Bredesen vetoed the guns in restaurants bill but it was overriddenby the Senate. Bredesen was resigned to signing the second guns in parks bill doe to the political realities currently in the Legislature.

Fortunately, opponents to the bill in the state legislature demanded an opt-out clause to both pieces of legislation. Municipalities are now free to pass local ordinances banning weapons in public parks (Davidson,home to Nashville and neighboring Williamson County and Shelby county, home of Memphis) are among the first to rush to beat the Sep. 1st  start of the new state law.

Furthermore, many restaurant owners are now posting “No Guns Allowed” on their front doors, including Randy Rayburn, one of the leaders in the fight to have the new guns in restaurant law declared a “public nuisance”. Rayburn, owner of venerable Sunset Grill, Midtown Cafe, and newish hot spot Cabana is willing to risk the wrath of the gun lobby and the more rabid elements of the gun ownership population. He fears that public safety will be compromised, employer liability increased, and tourism possibly hurt. Even the police seem queasy about the possibilities inherent in allow guns and alcohol to mix.

Here’s one article about the challenge to the law.

BTW, I was a .50cal gunner and Track Commander in my Mechanized Infantry platoon, so I’m pretty well-schooled and familiar with guns of all types.  I qualified not only “Expert” with the M-16 and M-60, I was also “Sharpshooter” with a Colt .45 (just didn’t have much need to get “Expert” with that one since I didn’t carry one like my hot-shot 2nd Lt. did). 

And now, a gratuitous and obviously staged shot of a gunshot victim being helped by a manaical Clive Owen (I decided that a real picture of a gunshot victim would be too graphic.