NC now allows guns in bars and restaurants

October 1, 2013 3:16:07 PM PDT
It is now legal for people with concealed carry permits to take their guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol across North Carolina. That is unless the restaurant posts a sign banning guns.

It is one of several new laws that took effect Monday, but not everyone thinks it is a good idea.

The owner of Players Retreat bar and restaurant in Raleigh is one establishment that will not allow guns even under the new law.

The owner has loudly voiced his opposition to the new law, even posting a sign reading "no weapons." However, unless a restaurant posts a sign banning weapons, people with concealed carry permits are free to bring their guns.

Supporters of the new law point out that gun carriers are not allowed to drink any alcohol at all.

"This is zero tolerance.  There's not point-one, point-eight, it's zero-point-zero.  Conceal-carry holders are not allowed to drink while in possession of firearm," said Grass Roots member Thomas Rhyne, one of the groups most responsible for getting the new gun law passed.  

Nonetheless, some restaurant customers ABC11 spoke with are skeptical about the alcohol restriction.

"It seems like it would be difficult to enforce," said restaurant patron Mike Beach.

But Beach, a husband and father of three, does not have a problem with the restaurant provision of the new law.  

"I don't really mind in an establishment like this.  I feel like if people have handguns they can have their handguns with them," he said.

However, restaurant patron Kandis Johnson, who is working on getting a concealed carry permit, has a different view.

"I, for one, will not take my gun into a restaurant and I'm not sure I agree with anyone being able to do that," said Johnson.

Yet, some restaurant owners had no knowledge of the new law.

"That's something we've got to talk about. This is new to us so we have to sit down and figure it out," said Michael Longo, a member of the family who runs Lavolta.

A lot of restaurant owners have an important decision to make,but starting Monday, unless a sign is posted, anyone in a restaurant could be legally carrying a weapon.

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