Beat cops say gun bill is a public nuisance

Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:00am

Proponents of the guns in bars bill point out that those who do chose to carry their handgun into a bar are prohibited from serving alcohol.

But District 33 Metro Councilman Robert Duvall, who opposes Council efforts to intercede on the issue, pointed out the nightmare scenario where someone eating at a bar would be held up and, because of this law, would then have the ability to legally respond.

But one Metro beat cop who patrols the downtown honky-tonks and nightclubs sees things differently. He’s Sgt. Geoff Odom who supervises the night bicycle patrol unit downtown.

Pointing to the inordinate number of after-hours assaults that have taken place in the hours after bars close in the downtown area, Odom worried about a scenario where “some thug takes a gun away from a law-abiding citizen who now has the right to carry.”

 

Since the beginning of the year, the intersection of Second Avenue and Commerce has had 75 calls for assaults. The nightclub Graham Central Station has had 38 assault calls on its own.

 

“Permit holders, while they get a limited amount of training to learn functionality of a handgun, they are not like police officers where they are put into training scenarios where they are required to retain that weapon in an event of an attack,” Odom said. “So if they lose that weapon to some thug out there on Second [Avenue] when the bars are closing and that guy gets that weapon and begins to fire indiscriminately, who’s going to get hit?”

 

—   Nate Rau

 

BY THE NUMBERS

 

As proponents of the guns in bars legislation like to say, there are 37 states that have “shall issue” laws which require the issuance of a conceal and carry permit.

 

However:

 

• 27 states explicitly prohibit guns in places that serve alcohol (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming)

 

• 3 states do not issue, or only issue to business owners (Illinois, New York and Wisconsin)

 

• 4 states have no preemption laws, therefore allowing cities to prohibit guns in bars (California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island)

 

• 15 states have “shall issue” laws, preempt local government from regulating firearms and do not explicitly ban guns in drinking establishment (Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia)

 

• 1 state has legislation to allow, by right, permit holders to carry guns in establishments that serve alcohol — Tennessee

 

 

Source: Nashville law firm Smith & Schmidt

 

Filed under: City News
Tagged: guns in bars

7 Comments on this post:

By: arkay61 on 6/18/09 at 5:42

So now the PD is finally admitting that downtown is practically a war zone at night? If they are worried that I might walk into one of the restaurants and get jumped by a thug and have my gun taken away, they must be. It's too bad that everyone who has their under wear in a wad over the possibility that a sober, non-drinking person might walk into a restaurant that serves alcohol with a weapon can't muster up as much over-wrought concern about the hundreds of liquored up thugs and gang bangers with weapons running the streets of downtown Metro that actually DO cause problems.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/18/09 at 7:33

OK, if the MNPD thinks it's a bad idea, shouldn't that be a clue?

By: BenDover on 6/18/09 at 8:03

Is the paper on a crusade against this law?

Anyone who's going to murder someone isn't going to abide by any stupid laws anyway. What the old law did do, though, was keep law abiding citizens unarmed; and thus, subordinate to anyone who chose to disregard the old law.

'Guns in Bars' totally mischaracterizes this law.

This Bicycle Barney Fife, armed with a pen and clipboard, would be there in time only to take a statement from the survivors in a situation where only the criminals are armed. Geezzz...

By: Kosh III on 6/18/09 at 8:12

"The nightclub Graham Central Station has had 38 assault calls on its own."

Sounds like a place that needs to be shut down.

By: EquinsuOcha on 6/18/09 at 8:18

sounds like just one DA cop to me.

By: slzy on 6/18/09 at 4:14

since we have the officers attention: How do you go about determining who is publicly drunk?

By: courier37027 on 6/18/09 at 8:10

Watching downtown businesses for potential trouble would carve into the police department's valuable traffic ticket writing time. There is no revenue in arresting thugs and drunks.