Pistol and holster
A new law allows people to carry guns in bars in Ohio. Photo Credit: Betzi/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

The Second Amendment right to carry guns is cherished by many, but there are some situations in which it seems imprudent. The state of Ohio recently passed a law allowing people to carry guns in bars.

No taking shots while taking shots

The Ohio state legislature recently approved a law that some people could find highly questionable, according to the Daily Mail. It is now legal for Ohioans to carry guns in bars.

Ohio governor John Kasich signed the bill into law in June, according to Reuters, allowing people to carry a concealed weapon in bars, restaurants or other places where alcohol is served. Concealed firearms may also be carried in places like shopping malls and sports venues. However, the law prohibits serving alcohol to anyone packing heat.

Establishment owners can ban guns from the premises if they choose. The Cincinatti Bengals, for instance, do not allow firearms in the arena.

Ohio following suit

In 2010, a law took effect in Virginia allowing people to carry concealed firearms in bars, according to CBS. Just like the Ohio “guns in bars” law, Virginians are prohibited from being served alcohol while carrying a gun. Having a drink while wearing a gun can get a person up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Not long after the Virginia law was passed, a similar law went into effect in New Mexico. In 2009, according to MSNBC, a bill was approved by the Arizona state legislature allowing guns in bars. Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law, according to the New York Times.

According to CBS, 40 states have some sort of law on the books allowing guns in restaurants, bars or other businesses where alcohol is being served. The laws vary. According to the New York Times, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia and Virginia explicitly allowed guns to be carried in bars as of 2010.

Conflicting viewpoints

A common refrain is that allowing people to carry guns in bars is asking for trouble. Many people fear a “Wild West shooting” will occur when some liquored-up yokel pulls out a pistol and starts shooting. But the laws allowing guns in bars also prohibit serving alcohol to anyone carrying a gun. Restaurant and bar owners are also free to ban firearms from the premises if they want to.

Of course, establishment bans don’t always stop people. The New York Times mentions a Virginia man who shot himself in the leg while drinking in a bar in 2010. Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in 2008 while carrying a gun in a bar and went to prison for it.


Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2043627/Carrying-guns-bars-Ohio-legal.html

Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/us-ohio-guns-idUSTRE75T7BX20110630

CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20009454-503544.html

MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31683427/ns/us_news-life/t/arizona-approves-bill-allowing-guns-bars/#.ToXs0GWP-_0

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/us/04guns.html

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