Senate Passes Concealed Guns in Bars Bill

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 2/21 11:35 pm

Guns in bars?  Is that a good combination?

The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would allow it, with conditions.  It hasn’t passed the House.

“In the bar business we like to say sometimes we see people not at their best,” J.D. McHargue, owner of Henry Clay’s Pub.

“Guns and alcohol don't mix,” said Tim Feld, a patron of Henry Clay’s.

The Kentucky Senate passed a bill, 30-4, that would allow concealed guns to be carried into place that serve alcohol as long as the carrier doesn’t drink.

Many bar-goers are left with questions.

“Who's going to be responsible for checking whether or not they have a gun, is it going to be the bar owner? Is it going to be the bar tender?  If a bar doesn't do that are they going to be held liable for the actions,” said Feld.

The bill doesn’t contain anything that would let a bartender know whether or not a person is carrying a concealed weapon.

“Is everyone going to be patted down when the come into a bar? I think it's going to be more problems, I don't see the benefit of allowing people to carry guns into a bar,” said Feld.

In an unscientific sampling, ABC 36 talked to nearly three dozen people in different bars.  An overwhelming majority were against the bill.

It’s just going to create a little more chaos that's unnecessary,” said Matthew Morphew who was at McArthy’s Irish Bar.

“People make poor decisions when they're intoxicated, poor decisions with guns equals trouble,” said Feld.  

“A loaded gun, anything's possible,” said McHargue who has been a concealed weapon permit carrier since the mid-90’s.  “I'm a firm believer that alcohol and guns do not mix,”

He said public safety is his top priority.

“There may be reasons some people want to be carrying their gun to a bar but I got to know who they are.  I want to know why they're here with a gun, who they are and I want to make sure they aren't drinking,” said McHargue.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives. 

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he will take a look at the bill but he thinks the current conceal-carry law was very well thought-out.

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