Senate passes guns in bars, restaurants bill - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Senate passes guns in bars, restaurants bill

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

In a 33-5 vote on Tuesday, the South Carolina Senate said it's OK to carry a gun into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol.

According to the bill, if a person carries in a gun, they are still prohibited from consuming alcohol. The law would also only apply to midnight - it would be illegal to have a gun in a bar or restaurant from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Bars and restaurants would still have the option not to allow guns inside their establishment.

The Firing Line in Spartanburg said if the guns in bars and restaurants bill passes, it will rewrite the book on what's taught in CWP classes. Tuesday, even at the gun range, some had concerns.

"It seems to me like a dangerous mix to have weapon in a bar environment where judgments are clouded by alcohol," said customer Preston Tassin.

Firing Line owner Johnny Horton isn't sold on the bill either. He says even if a CWP holder doesn't plan to drink at dinner, he wonders what will happen if they change their mind.

"Not everybody is a non-drinker, there are sober drinkers," said Horton. "They go in with the intent not to, but end up doing it."

Horton says he doesn't believe most would take their weapon back outside before drinking, and that's when problems would begin.

"Alcohol is going to alter the thought process, delay thinking and response time," said Horton. "It's going to change your whole way of thinking, some fuses may get shorter."

But at the Rendezvous bar in Greenville, others said this bill would increase safety.

"I'd feel safer, not threatened. A person that's been through CWP knows when he can and cannot use a one," said Steven Hicks.

Others said they trust that those with CWPs would follow the law closely.

"I will not drink if I have a firearm with me," said Mark Moon. "I will not drink. I think a majority of people will abide by that."

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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