Chancellor to hear guns in bars challenge today

Monday, July 13, 2009 at 12:30am

With only one day before the controversial guns-in-bars legislation takes effect, an opposition group that seeks an injunction to stop the law will have its day in court today.

A coalition consisting of Nashville restaurateur Randy Rayburn, a group of local servers and the attorney representing the regional Alcoholic Beverage Team, will have its legal challenge heard in Chancery Court by Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman at 1:30 p.m. today.

Opponents say the new law – which allows permit holders to carry weapons in places serving alcohol provided they are not consuming any alcoholic beverages – claim it would act as a “state created danger” and would unfairly put servers at risk when they are at work.

The lawsuit, filed against Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper, seeks an injunction to stop the law from being enacted.

Filed late last week was a brief by Nashville attorney Will Cheek, who represents alcohol-serving establishments throughout the Southeast. Cheek’s brief states that the Tennessee code governing beer and alcohol licenses is so vague that the typical gun carry permit holder would not know in which establishments guns would be allowed.

Restaurants have the right to post signs banning guns.

12 Comments on this post:

By: imdyinhere on 7/13/09 at 7:35

Just curious: has anyone looked into how much money private security firms have donated to the state's politicians who led this drill?

I mean, how are bars and restaurants that opt out going to make sure their patrons aren't carrying?

By: rcotoy on 7/13/09 at 7:52

I wonder why I have been able to eat at Cracker Barrel, Shoney''s, McDonald's, Subway and countless other restaurants across our state and have not had one incidence. And why should we now expect there to be an outbreak of gunfire at O'Charley;s, Outback, Chili's, Mortons, The Palms, or any other restaurant that happens to serve alcohol. I will continue to enjoy my iced tea.
How many people have alcohol and guns in their home and you don't hear them shooting the place up. What's next? Ask your friends and neighbors to put a sign up in their window too.
Mr/Mrs Restauranteur...Use some common sense and don't get caught up in the histeria. Put the signs in the window and watch these $$,$$$.00 go elsewhere.

By: JeffF on 7/13/09 at 8:36

"We do not respect our legally licensed customers to act responsibly but we still want their money. We need the politicians to ban their guns so we do not look bad."

Don't you want to see the names of the establishments backing this lawyer so you can know who feels this way? I want to know which businesses are disrespectful to me so I do not have to give them any of my filthy money,

By: timmy de on 7/13/09 at 8:50

I WILL NOT SPEND MY MONEY IN A PLACE THAT DOES NOT RESPECT MY RIGHTS AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN...I SIMPLY CANT BECAUSE IF THE SIGN IS IN THE WINDOW IM BREAKING THE LAW IF I WALK IN BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS CARRYING...AND SO ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS....IM SURE ITS GONNA HURT THEM AT THE REGISTER..WE MAY BE A SLEEPING GIANT....

By: freddy on 7/13/09 at 10:22

timmy de, if you're always carrying, how do you get into bars and restaurants now without breaking the law?

By: pandabear on 7/13/09 at 11:17

Some owners are about to find out,
in the midst of the biggest recession since the Great Depression,
that legally carrying, responsible citizens, have been spending
money in their businesses for a long time.

...and are about to shop elsewhere.

You vote with your sign.

I'll vote with my money.

By: consultmlcesq on 7/13/09 at 1:56

I fully support this effort to defeat one of many senseless pieces of gun legislation. I am delighted to know that there are some leaders in this city whose pragmatism outweighs reactionary ideology.

By: consultmlcesq on 7/13/09 at 2:01

If all permit holders are so "law abiding" why was legislation regarding transporting loaded weapons in cars and trucks enacted solely for the purpose of legalizing what many rural citizens were already doing, illegally. Perhaps you gun totin citizens should open your own restaurants, so that the average family doesn't have to be concerned with being caught in the middle of a shootout while dining.

By: PYRO on 7/13/09 at 4:14

OH noes consultmlcesq, how will you ever eat out again in a restaurant that does not post "No Guns". Please stay away from them just in case stupid is contagious.

By: PYRO on 7/13/09 at 4:21

Maybe consultmlcesq should start a restaurant and post a no guns sign. He can serve his famous portion of idiocy to all his patrons.

By: Magnum on 7/13/09 at 4:26

I doubt a restaurant that bans guns will see that big of a drop in patronage. For every potential customer that avoids the establishment due to the ban, there will be one who prefers it because of the ban. Its the law of averages.

By: Schuss on 7/13/09 at 10:29

I will not patronize restaurants that ban guns, just like any other business that posts the same sign. Grandpa's Ace Hardware, in Clarksville, USED to have a sign on the door banning loaded firearms. When asked why they had the sign posted, the guy at the gun counter said, "Because the owner wants it that way." I told him to tell the owner that I would shop elsewhere until he changed his mind. I went by there, last week. The sign had been removed.

Those businesses that post a ban sign can expect to see a higher crime rate than those that welcome law-abiding gun owners.