Restaurant Carry In NC Officially Dead

Those Republicans in the North Carolina State Senate who were afraid to bring HB 111 – the restaurant carry bill – to a vote have won the day. The Senate adjourned early Tuesday morning and the House followed at 3pm. With the adjournment any bills without final votes died and that included HB 111

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out the following email alert and reaction regarding restaurant carry yesterday:

NC General Assembly adjournment today makes it official: HB 111 is dead.

As Legislators from the NC General Assembly pack their bags and head home after a hard two months of work, the leadership in the Senate should go back to their districts and explain why they left gun owners out in the cold. It seems that the main resistance to this bill which would have allowed families to protect themselves while dining in public came from the Republican NC Senate Leadership.

Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger and Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca shuffled HB 111 off to various unrelated Committees until the clock ran out. Despite your calls and emails asking them to reconsider their actions, they thumbed their noses at the gun owners of North Carolina.

We Will Remember in November

Apparently once they took their seats of power, they no longer needed to listen to you. In November, we have a chance to send a message back to our leaders in the Senate. Our message is simple: We will Remember in November!

Support those candidates who have proven they will stand up and fight for your rights, and remember those that have shown they will duck and cover when the first sign of resistance appears. Remember to vote, and vote carefully.

The fight for passage of a bill that will allow families to protect themselves when they are in public will continue. New legislation will be introduced next year when the NC General Assembly comes back to work… and we will be there. We will not rest until North Carolina finally joins over 40 other states which already provide some sort of “Restaurant Carry” provisions . No more lies, no more dodging, it’s time to get this passed.

While Sen. Phil Berger does have a Democrat opposing him in the General Election in November, Sen. Tom Apodaca is unopposed. I have been studying their campaign finance reports and will have a post on that later.

The other component of HB 111 besides restaurant carry was a clarification of definitions regarding concealed carry in parks. That, too, died when HB 111 was shunted from committee to committee. As a result, counties and municipalities are left without the needed guidance on what they can or can’t do regarding carry in parks. As a result, you have cities like Winston-Salem including greenways as prohibited areas for concealed carry as they have declared them “athletic facilities”. Absent the clarification from the General Assembly, it will be left up to the courts to decide.

Why Concealed Carry In Restaurants Serving Alcohol Is Such A Hard Slog In NC

Some of the commenters to my post about using the Virginia experience to push for allowing concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments that serve alcohol have pointed out states where it is both legal to carry in bars and to drink at the same time. That may be. However, I doubt that would be a winning argument here in North Carolina.

The Tar Heel State has or has had an almost puritanical approach to alcohol. It was the first state in the South to adopt prohibition and the first in the nation to do so by popular vote. It was not until 1978 that North Carolina relaxed its laws enough to allow liquor by the drink in restaurants. Even then, unless it was a private club, bars were not allowed to sell mixed drinks. Prior to this, we had the charming custom of “brown bagging” where you would go to a restaurant that had the proper permits and bring your own booze. They would sell you a “set-up” which might be a glass of Coke or ginger ale or merely a glass of ice.

Liquor stores in the state are still governmental entities run by county or municipal alcohol control boards under the overall control of the State Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. There is even a division of Alcohol Law Enforcement under the state’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

North Carolina has changed a lot since the video below was made in 1978. There is only one completely dry county left – Graham – but there are still a number of towns and cities that don’t allow liquor by the drink or even beer and wine sales. That said, the attitudes toward alcohol among many in their mid-40s and up is still imbued with that old puritanical flavor. Indeed, I would not be surprised to find lots of people still agreeing with the sentiments expressed in the video below in all age groups.

Thus, in getting concealed carry allowed in North Carolina’s restaurants that serve alcohol, we are having to take it one step at a time and limit it to non-drinking patrons. The fact that the N.C. House passed HB 111 with a strong majority was a great beginning. Now we have to convince the Senate to do likewise.