Bill allowing concealed guns in parks, restaurants sparks debate

Posted April 2, 2011
Updated April 3, 2011

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— A bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in public parks and greenways across the state and in restaurants where is alcohol is served is drawing passionate arguments on both sides of the issue.

Supporters point to the Second Amendment, while opponents say they can't believe such a bill is being discussed.

The state House voted earlier this week in favor of House Bill 111, which is one of several proposed laws that would loosen gun restrictions. It now goes to the Senate.

Randy Mann took his two sons fishing at Lake Johnson Park in Raleigh Saturday. Under HB 111, people with a permit could bring concealed handguns to that park, but Mann says it doesn't bother him.

"As long as they had it concealed and it wasn't loaded," he said.

Park-goer Carl Nelson disagreed. 

"It's a family place. There's no need for it," he said. "I wouldn't think anyone would approve such a bill."

Bill allowing concealed guns in parks, restaurants sparks debate Concealed guns in parks, restaurants sparks debate

The same debate is circling in restaurants where alcohol is served. The bill forbids anyone from consuming alcohol if they have a concealed, permitted weapon in a restaurant.

Several people at Sammy's Tap and Grill in Raleigh said handguns and alcohol don't mix.

"I can't believe that's even coming up for consideration," said Sammy's patron Mike Derrico.

"That's scary. People get drunk, and they get crazy sometimes," said Rachael Heath.

Her husband, Rick, however, was on the opposite side of the debate.

"If someone gets a concealed weapon permit, I don't see anything wrong with being able to bring it in to an establishment like this," he said. 

Nelson thinks lawmakers are playing with fire in considering the bill. 

"I think it's calling for trouble, unnecessary trouble that no one needs," he said.

If the bill becomes law, it would take effect in December.

Other gun-related proposals being considered in the legislature include House Bill 227, which loosens restrictions on buying handguns in other states; House Bill 63, which allows employees to lock guns inside their cars at work; and House Bill 390, which would do away with the requirement for a local permit to purchase a pistol.


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  • heilman Apr 6, 2011

    Most people with a CCW (myself included) are good law abiding citizens. Do you really think that there are NOT people sitting in bars/restaurants drinking? This bill IS NOT permitting someone with a CCW to drink. There is still a zero tolerance for this. It merely allows my to protect myself and/or my family if someone has drank too much and is crossing the line of aggression. Why should I not be able to carry in a park. There are very remote areas of some parks. I am already permitted to carry in a National Park, but not local/state. What if my 4 year old son and I are fishing at Falls Lake and run across some meth head wanting to rob us? What if we come across a rabid racoon? What if we end up getting a poisonous snake bite and need the snake for identification purposes?

    I hope this bill passes! There were a lot fewer stupid people walking the street when everyone carried guns in the old days! :)

  • jbradley0181 Apr 5, 2011

    My miami burger king story was to long google it if you would like the full story or check out more stories here at

  • jbradley0181 Apr 5, 2011

    In the state of Florida,Which i moved from you can have a weapon concealed but not in the bar area but in the resturant it self.I my self would love to carry my weapon in resturants and parks.Parks for one you have stray animals(Dogs)if they attack my 5yr old or 3yr old i would like to be armed to put that animal down before the attack even happend.Resturants if a armed man comes in and is willing to rob a resturant with familys in it they are willing to take a life as well i would rather be able to protect my family then lose one to a low life bad guy.People forget bad guys carry into resturants and parks now and it seems not to bother any one until they take the life of their loved one then they want heads to roll.Just saying i would like the chance to be the sheep dog and not the sheep i will not let a bad guy keep me or my family locked behind doors. I will not hide and let one of these bad guys take a life of a family member or a innocent person either im willing to save even the

  • jbradley0181 Apr 5, 2011

    Miami police released the names of those involved in the Burger King shootout Tuesday that ended with a dead armed robber and the seriously-wounded customer who shot him.

    John Landers, 45, was the customer who walked up to the gun-wielding masked robber, 18-year-old Johnny Jean-Baptiste, when the restaurant's clerk was being robbed at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

    According to police, Jean-Baptiste wore a ski mask when he walked into the Burger King at Northwest 54th Street and Biscayne Boulevard armed with a gun. It was a time, employees said, when it is usually crowded with schoolchildren and people getting out of work early. Jean-Baptiste then approached the counter, pointed his tiny semiautomatic Bryco .380 towards the restaurant's employees and demanded money.

    That's when Landers, armed with a concealed weapons permit and his 9mm Glock 19, asked Jean-Baptiste to put the gun down, according to the police report.

    Jean-Baptiste refused and began firing his gun and Landers shot back, police re

  • billzieger Apr 5, 2011

    To those gun ownwership proponents. When you engage in your OK Corral shoot-outs, justified by your right to defend yourself, what happens when a stray, yours or the perps, hits the toddler across the street. It seems there are people in this country who believe we need to return to the days of the Wild West and still others, in the name of fiscal responsibility, who would let the weak and needy live in a world of social darwinism. I think both the rabidly macho gun toters as well as the Tea Party fanatics are both not an asset to this country. Too bad.

  • confederateyankee Apr 4, 2011

    For those critics who say thee is "no need" to carry a gun in certain places, please point out the designated violent crime zones that you seem to believe are the only places where bad things can happen.

  • MakoII Apr 4, 2011


    There is a curfew at night for Central Park, so you are not supposed to be in it at night!

    And the 2 times I had a gun pulled on me, it would have been a death sentence for me to pull on IF I had one on me both those times.

    Just turn and walk away is the best policy for a man.

    Turn, run zig-zag, and scream your head off if you're a woman.

  • Lightfoot3 Apr 4, 2011

    People are SO ignorant that it's scary. Carrying concealed but not loaded? No need because it's a family place? People worried about people being drunk with their guns.

    Bottom line is that criminals will attack you no matter where you're at, including family places like parks. They'll attack you in restaurants that serve alcohol, like Red Lobster. And those carrying concealed art NOT suppose to be drinking, whether or not these bills pass.

    This are GOOD bills. They are common sense bills. And most other states already have something similar with no ill effects. The ignorance among the anti-gunners is amazing.

  • Arapaloosa Apr 4, 2011

    ""That's scary. People get drunk, and they get crazy sometimes," said Rachael Heath."

    Yeah, and they get in their 4000 lb guided missile and kill people.

  • Arapaloosa Apr 4, 2011

    To all those who are terrified of firearms... No one is forcing you to buy one!