The report published by the Richmond Times Dispatch this weekend analyzing the first year of experience of allowing concealed carry in Virginia establishments that serve alcohol is important. The study found that not only did violent crime not go up but it actually decreased by 5.2 percent. It has gotten a lot of attention within the firearms community and numerous gun blogs have reported on it. Even non-gun blogs like HotAir have noticed it.
Now is the time to make this important news useful.
The bill to allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments that serve alcohol in North Carolina, HB 111, has passed the N.C. House but is stuck in the State Senate. According to Grass Roots North Carolina, Senate leaders purportedly are fearful of polling which shows public sentiment against this measure.
HB 111: “HANDGUN PERMIT VALID IN PARKS & RESTAURANTS”
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Hilton (R-Catawba, GRNC ****), after passing the House by a vote of 76-42 with a weakening amendment allowing municipalities to ban guns in recreational facilities offered by Rep. David Guice (D- , GRNC ), the bill headed to the Senate. There it was first referred to Rules – widely regarded as the graveyard for bills leadership has no intention of hearing. After negotiations with Rules Chair Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson, ****), HB 111 was re-referred to Judiciary II on the agreement that GRNC would wait for a hearing until after completion of the state budget. Although HB 111 will remain alive for next year, Senate Republicans are running scared from polling which reportedly shows lack of public support for concealed carry in restaurants. Meanwhile, parks carry has passed in HB 650.
If you live in North Carolina I suggest you print out this article and send it along with a polite letter to both your State Senator and the Republican leadership in the State Senate. Point out that an objective analysis conducted by a major statewide paper in an adjoining state found that the change in the law didn’t cause blood to run in the streets as its opponents promised it would. Rather, it actually led to a decrease in violent crime in those restaurants and bars. Point out that North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit holders are some of the most law-abiding responsible citizens around and much more so than the general public. Then ask them to get moving and pass HB 111 so that you can discretely carry while eating with your family at Applebee’s (and drinking ice tea).
This is fresh news so it is important to hit while it is still fresh. While I think a written letter to a state legislator will have more impact than an email, you could also email this article with a short note as well. If you are not sure who represents you in the N.C. State Senate, go here.
Frankly, I am not sure what other states are considering such measures. I know Ohio did pass such a bill in this session of the General Assembly. If your state is considering such a bill or, better yet, if your state prohibits carry in establishments serving alcohol, I’d suggest you do the same thing as what I plan to do here in North Carolina.