Every single time the laws of this country are adapted to better protect and preserve the individual right of self-defense, the anti-rights cultists of America inundate the airwaves with prognostications of firearm owners wantonly mowing down innocent civilians in fits of rage, accidents with firearms claiming the lives of defenseless children, and various other doom-and-gloom predictions of "blood in the streets". Concealed carry? Blood in the streets. Open carry? Blood in the streets. Constitutional carry? Blood in the streets. Expiration of the "Assault Weapon" Ban? Blood in the streets. Expiration of the Brady waiting period? Blood in the streets.
And every single time they are wrong. Fortunately – at least if you are as perversely entertained as I am – that 0.000 batting average does not stop them from offering up the same conjecture again and again and again (What was that definition of insanity?), with one of the more-recent examples being allowing firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol here in Tennessee.
Where the hoplophobes were wrong. Again:
Tennessee’s so-called "guns in bars" law is almost a year old. It took two years, two vetoes by the governor and two legislative overrides, not to mention a couple of court cases before it took effect.
After such controversy, has anything really changed since the law allowed permit holders to carry their guns into places where alcohol is served as long as they are not drinking?
"Honestly, not a whole lot has changed. It isn’t like the okay corral with people walking in with guns in the restaurants," said Bart Fricks, COO of the Copper Cellar Corp., which owns more than a dozen restaurants in East Tennessee.
"A lot of it was much to do about nothing," Fricks added.
We got the same response at Mulligan’s in West Knox County.
"We haven’t seen anything. We do have music. We do have a bar, but we do welcome kids. It’s very family friendly. It really hadn’t bothered us at all," said owner Patti Anderson.
In fact, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office reports that out of 61 calls in the last year from businesses that serve alcohol, none of them involved a gun.
"This law hasn’t changed your job at all. Not a bit," said Knox County Sheriff’s Assistant Chief Deputy Rich Wilson.
Speaking personally, I have openly carried into multiple different restaurants that serve alcohol, and no one has complained, commented, panicked, called the police, or really done much of anything. Funny, that.
One thing I have noticed, however, is that a lot of places that serve alcohol, and a lot of places that sell alcohol, still have the old, "MISDEMEANOR STATE LAW PRESCIBES A MAXIMUM PENALTY OF ELEVEN (11) MONTHS TWENTY-NINE DAYS IMPRISONMENT AND A FINE NOT TO EXCEED TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($2,500) FOR CARRYING WEAPONS WHERE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE SOLD OR SEARVED." sign (referred to as the "Misdemeanor/Weapon" sign by the TNABC). THAT SIGN IS NO LONGER VALID, in that the Tennessee State Code it cites no longer has that clause, and the TSC dictates you may lawfully carry at both places that sell alcohol and places that serve alcohol, but I have two questions:
1. Is there any truth to the rumors I have been hearing that the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission has been telling businesses they have to put up that out-of-date sign before they can have their liquor license?
2. Would that be considered "binding" signage indicating weapons/firearms are not permitted on the premises? Pretty much everything about them is wrong, but I do not exactly want to become a test case.
(Courtesy of Tennessee’s favorite whacky local politician.)