Restaurant Carry In NC – Time For Action On HB 111

HB 111 which would allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments that serve alcohol has passed the NC State House. However, it has languished in the State Senate. The General Assembly will reconvene in about 6 weeks and it is time to get the attention of both the Republican and Democratic leadership.

For those that have Twitter accounts, Sean Sorrentino has set up an easy way for you to send a message with a link to an account of a restaurant shooting. One of Sean’s good friends was a victim of that shooting but lived.

I would follow up with your own State Senator – even if they are anti-rights – with a direct email or letter. You can find address information for all Senators here. Just go to the pull-down menu in the upper right corner and select your State Senator.

The Republican leadership is reportedly scared of the bill due to some spurious poll supposedly showing a majority against it. It is time to put the pressure on them and remind them they need to get right with those who helped give them that majority – gun owners.

Grass Roots NC On Anti’s “Eat In Peace” Campaign

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic) are starting a campaign called Eat in Peace. The aim is to encourage restaurants to post their establishments against legal carry if HB 111 passes.

Grass Roots North Carolina is calling them out on some of their lies and misstatements.

North Carolinians “Against Gun Violence” is publishing lies to disarm law-abiding restaurant patrons.

On its website, NCGV blatantly and dishonestly claims that HB 111 will “…force family restaurants and bars to allow loaded, concealed guns.” See promulgation of this flagrant lie below and here:

The fact is that HB 111 will not prevent restaurant owners from posting against carry should they (unwisely) choose to do so. GRNC has always supported the property rights of restaurant owners while protecting the rights of gun owners.

Restaurant Association does not oppose restaurant carry

This is why THE NC RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION (NCRLA) DOES NOT OPPOSE RESTAURANT CARRY AND HB 111! A letter documenting NCRLA’s position on HB 111 is available here:

The only thing NCRLA ever opposed was an effort by anti-gun Rep. Deborah Ross (D-Wake, GRNC 0 star) to force restaurant servers to question patrons about whether they are armed – a hostile amendment GRNC removed from the bill long ago!

Republican lawmakers are deceived

The real tragedy is that Republican lawmakers have joined in NCGV’s self-embarrassment by allowing themselves to be swayed by disinformation and tainted polls. As a result, HB 111 languishes in committee and has not been brought up for the hearing it deserves.

Will it require the deaths of more North Carolinians in Restaurant Homicides to force lawmakers to see the truth?

Danielle RIP

What about Restaurant Homicide?

Victims of Restaurant Homicide like Danielle Watson and her unborn child — viciously stabbed to death just a few weeks ago by an ex-con in a restaurant where she was prohibited by law from protecting herself – indicate that a more appropriate slogan for NCGV’s disinformation campaign is not “Eat in Peace, but rather…

“Rest In Peace”

How many more mothers and children will have to die in NC restaurants before the General Assembly rescinds dangerous laws mandating defenselessness?

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.

Using The News For Gun Rights

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.


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.

A Ph.D. In Biochem Doesn’t Make You An Expert In Everything

Sean has a story about an opponent of HB 111 which would allow concealed carry – but not alcohol consumption – in North Carolina restaurants and eating establishments that serve alcohol. Dr. Art Kamm has his Ph.D. in biochemistry and had worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the development of drugs to fight cancer for a number of years before he retired.

If Dr. Kamm was opining on the efficacy of a certain cancer drug, I would listen to him. If he were talking about clinical trials and the lengthy regulatory process it takes to bring a drug to market, I’d be interested. If he said something about the inner workings of the FDA, I’d assume he had some first hand knowledge. However, if as Dr. Kamm says, that passing HB 111 will scare the tourists, I’d say stick to your area of expertise. Anecdotal stories about one group of visitors from Australia doesn’t make you an expert on tourism or firearms policy.

Art Kamm reminds me of an old crank that lived in Haywood County years ago. Richard Suhre had been a scientist with the Atomic Energy Commission (the predecessor to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission). Suhre was a college educated man from a generation where few people had his level of education. He also thought that made him an expert in everything. He was constantly writing letters to the local paper giving his “learned” opinion on virtually everything. When he was talking about a potential nuclear waste dump in the mountains, he knew what he was talking about. On other things, not so much. So it is with Dr. Kamm.

Go to Sean’s site and read the whole thing.

Hearing In NC State Senate Tomorrow On Two Gun-Rights Bills

While much of the work of the North Carolina General Assembly is done for the session, those bills that made the crossover deadline are still being considered. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary II Committee will hold hearings on HB 111 – concealed carry in restaurants and Park – and on HB 650 – various gun law amendments and the Castle Doctrine. The hearings on HB 111 will be for discussion only.

The committee’s announcement is below:

Corrected: HB 111 is for discussion only.



The Senate Committee on Judiciary II will meet at the following time:

June 14, 2011
10:00 AM
1124 LB

The following will be considered:

HB 113
Motorcycle Safety Act.
Representative Killian

HB 381
Checking Station Pattern Selection.
Representative Torbett

HB 659
Capital Procedure/Severe Mental Disability.
Representative McGrady
Representative Harrison
Representative Glazier
Representative Stevens

HB 650
Amend Various Gun Laws/Castle Doctrine.
Representative Cleveland
Representative Hastings
Representative Hilton
Representative LaRoque

HB 111
Handgun Permit Valid in Parks & Restaurants.
Representative Steen, II
Representative Barnhart
Representative Hastings
Representative Hilton

HB 111 is for discussion only.

Senator Austin M. Allran, Co-Chair
Senator Warren Daniel, Co-Chair
Senator E. S. (Buck) Newton, Co-Chair

GRNC On HB 111 – Guns In Restaurants And Parks

Grass Roots North Carolina issued a member alert this evening on HB 111 which would allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating places that serve alcohol and would allow concealed carry in state, county, and municipal parks. This bill has passed the State House and is now in committee in the State Senate. While it has met the crossover deadline, it would be nice if it were passed before the General Assembly adjourns for this session.

Haven’t You Waited Long Enough?

HB 111, the long-awaited Parks and Restaurants bill, is currently awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary II Committee. You, the gun owning public, have been patient. Now, it seems that you have waited long enough. The NC House has done its part in moving this vital bill forward. It is time for the Senate to do its part. Raise your voices and tell them you want action before the Senate adjourns.

Permit-Holders Proven Responsible

According to the NC State Bureau of Investigation, 336,743 concealed handgun permits have been approved, yet only 1007 (0.29% — less than 1/3 of a single percent) have been revoked for any reason, with most revocations unrelated to guns.

Although the SBI doesn’t track reasons for revocation, evidence from elsewhere suggests the vast majority of revocations are for reasons unrelated to guns. In Florida, for example, where 1,935,222 permits were issued, only 168 (.009%) were revoked due to misuse of firearms.

As in the 37 other states with concealed handgun laws, North Carolina permit-holders have a 16 year track record of proving themselves sane, sober and law-abiding.

“Wild west” predictions of “shootings at traffic lights” by the law’s opponents have proven false in North Carolina as in all of the 37 states which have adopted such laws.

Why Parks?

State parks: Although violent crime overall has dropped by 27.7% since inception of concealed carry, ostensibly “gun free” state parks have not benefited from the deterrence effect of the law, experiencing only an estimated drop of 8.93%, including an estimated 72 violent crimes and 1278 property crimes.

Municipal parks: Violent crime rates for municipal parks are not tracked by the State Bureau of Investigation, but urban settings and frequent news reports of rapes, murders and assaults suggests a much higher rate and number of violent crimes, perhaps numbering in the thousands.

Deterrence effect: Controlled, multi-variate studies of concealed handgun permit laws around the country show they deter murder, rape and aggravated assault.

Net benefit: Beyond allowing joggers, hikers and families enjoying North Carolina’s state and municipal parks to protect themselves against violent predators, HB 111 is likely to create a drop in crime by deterring criminals who search for unarmed victims.

Why Restaurants?

Restaurant carry is not untested: Even The New York Times admits that at least 39 states (by some counts, 40 states) permit concealed carry in restaurants.

Even a simple buffet restaurant is off limits to concealed carry if it has an on-premises alcohol consumption permit. When concealed handgun permit-holders go to such restaurants, they and their families are unprotected not only there but also in surrounding neighborhoods and parking lots.

Nothing would change the current prohibition on consuming alcohol while carrying concealed firearms contained in § 14-415.11 (c).

Restaurant owners would still have the option of posting against firearms under § 14-415.11 (c).

The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) has said that it does not oppose the bill.

GRNC strongly advises you to oppose the “Guice Amendment,” made in the House, under which municipalities could ban firearms in recreational facilities. Those facilities are precisely where permit-holders most need to protect family members.

Both Virginia (4/10) and Tennessee (6/10) have adopted restaurant carry without reported problems.



Contact the members of the Senate Leadership (listed following the message).
Deliver this message:

Dear Senator:

I am writing you to let you know that HB 111, “Handgun Permit Valid in Parks & Restaurants,” is a priority. It is time for you to act. The NC House has done their part and now it is time for you to do yours. NC Republicans were elected for a reason. Act now to push HB 111 forward.

I urge you support and pass this important bill. I will be monitoring the progress of HB 111 and your actions on this matter through the alerts of Grass Roots North Carolina.


A Concerned North Carolina Voter

Contact these legislators:

Full Contact Info:

Sen. Phil Berger
16 W. Jones Street, Room 2008
Raleigh, NC 27601-2808
(919) 733-5708

Sen. Tom Apodaca
16 W. Jones Street, Room 2010
Raleigh, NC 27601-2808
(919) 733-5745

Senator Austin M. Allran
300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 625
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
(919) 733-5876

Senator Warren Daniel
300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 411
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
(919) 715-7823

Senator E. S. (Buck) Newton
300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 410
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
(919) 715-3030

Raleigh City Council Votes To Oppose Concealed Carry In Restaurants And Parks

The Raleigh City Council voted on Tuesday to oppose HB 111 which would allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments as well in city and county parks. The bill has already passed the North Carolina House and is now before the State Senate.

City Council Opposes Concealed Handgun Bill
The Raleigh City Council on April 19 voted 7-0 to approve a resolution opposing provisions of a concealed handgun bill before the North Carolina General Assembly.

The proposed legislation would allow people with concealed permits to carry their handguns into public parks and restaurants that serve alcohol. The bill has been approved by the House and is now in the Senate.

Based upon the agenda item for the April 19th City Council Meeting, It appears that they are more concerned about firearms in parks than in restaurants. This resolution was placed upon the Consent Agenda which meant that it was consider “routine” and not worthy of extended discussion.

Handgun Resolution
On March 30, 2011, House Bill 111 “Handgun Permit Valid in Parks and Restaurants(Short title),” passed on the third reading and was delivered on 4/4/2011 to the Senate where after passing the first reading was referred to and currently rests with the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. This act seeks to allow citizens with concealed handgun permits to protect themselves and family in restaurants and to additionally carry handguns in parks. The bill limits local government ability to restrict carrying a concealed handgun by ordinance to government buildings, their peripheral premises and recreational facilities. Within the bill, “recreational facilities” are defined as playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools and athletic facilities.

The Parks and Recreation Department in discussion with and supported by the Raleigh Police Department considers the scope of the “recreation facilities” definition encompassed in HB 111 to be too narrow and limiting to the City of Raleigh’s interest in preserving order in its parks and greenway systems. Many of the “recreational facilities” identified are not stand-alone amenities; rather, they are co-located with other spaces within a park creating a challenge for law enforcement as well as confusion for citizens.

Approve the resolution prepared by the City Attorney seeking greater authority for the City of Raleigh to broaden the “recreational facilities” definition within HB 111 to “parks and greenways.” Such a change will enhance the level of comfort for citizens using the City park system as well as simplify the enforcement of the law.

Allowing the City of Raleigh or any municipality to determine the scope of a state-level law and the definitions within them undermines the state’s preemption statutes regarding firearms. The very reason state preemption exists is to ensure consistency from one jurisdiction to another.

If you live in Raleigh, do business in Raleigh, or travel to Raleigh on a regular basis, you might want to make this point to the City Council. You can reach the individual members as well as the Mayor at the email addresses below.

City Council Members

•Mayor: Charles Meeker | email:
•District A: Nancy McFarlane | email:
•District B: John Odom | email:
•District C: Eugene Weeks | email:
•District D: Thomas Crowder | email:
•District E: Bonner Gaylord | email:
•At-Large: Mary-Ann Baldwin (Mayor Pro Tempore) | email:
•At-Large: Russ Stephenson | email:
Email the entire City Council at


“So Long As It Was Concealed And It Wasn’t Loaded”

WRAL-TV sent reporter Beau Minnick to get “man in the street” perspectives on HB 111 which passed the North Carolina House this past week.

One man said he didn’t object to firearms in parks so  “long as it was concealed and it wasn’t loaded”. I think someone doesn’t quite get the concept behind concealed carry and personal protection.

Based on the other comments – especially the ones from patrons in a sports bar – I think the detail about carrying concealed and not consuming alcohol was conveniently left out of the conversation. Nothing in HB 111 allows a person to carry concealed and consume alcohol. That is still illegal under North Carolina law as it should be.

I must wonder how much footage was left on the editing room floor from this exercise in broadcast journalism.

Disturbing To Whom?

As noted here on Wednesday, HB 111 passed the North Carolina House. This bill would allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments that serve alcohol as well in state and local parks (in most areas.)

Rep. Ray Rapp (D-Madison) represents the 118th District and is one of the five Minority Whips in the North Carolina House. I live in the 118th District. I had written to him last week in support of the bill and he didn’t commit to supporting the bill in his response to me.

Today, I received his weekly email newsletter, Ray’s Raleigh Report, discussing legislation, visitors to his office, etc. Here is what he had to say about HB 111.

Perhaps the most disturbing bill to be enacted this week was House Bill 111, “an act to allow persons with concealed handgun permits to protect themselves and their families in restaurants (and bars).” Thanks to Rep. David Guice of Brevard, the bill was amended to allow local authorities to enact ordinances to prohibit carrying concealed handguns at playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools and athletic facilities and I supported this amendment. I was one of 42 to vote against the bill which passed with 74 in favor on third reading. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Disturbing to whom? Criminals? The Brady Campaign? Lisa Price’s NCGV? Some Democrats?

The bill extends where a concealed carry holder may carry legally in North Carolina. In my opinion, this is a good thing. It allows people to protect themselves when they are out and about in the world. It does not allow one to drink and carry concealed. So what is the problem?