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Businesses worry over impact of allowing, barring guns

Posted May 7, 2013

Handgun generic, firearm

— With the state House poised to give final approval Tuesday to legislation that would expand the number of places in North Carolina where people can carry concealed weapons, some business owners expressed reservations about the idea.

House Bill 937 would allow permit holders to have concealed weapons on greenways and bike trails, at sporting events and in businesses that serve alcohol. Also, concealed weapons could be locked in vehicles on community college and university campuses.

Proponents say the bill, which still must pass the Senate, protects and expands the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while increasing punishment for those who use guns in the commission of crimes.

"I think it's a good idea," Sherwood Spicer said. "Why have (guns) in one place and not in another?"

Restaurant patron Fred Corbett said allowing guns in restaurants and bars would provide added protection.

"Crook comes in the door going to cause bodily harm, hey, take him out," Corbett said.

Under the bill, private establishments would still be able to prohibit firearms by posting a sign saying they aren't allowed. Some business owners said they worry about alienating potential customers.

"I want to be kind of neutral towards it," restaurateur Mario Longo said. "We do have a right to say no or yes, so that's one of the things we're going to weigh."

No guns allowed sign Signs barring guns could keep customers away

Some people said a "no firearms" sign or the lack of one would impact whether they would patronize a specific restaurant.

"It's one thing to protect your home, but when you're going out in the public, I wouldn't have it," Vanessa Riddle said. "I see totally that point of view, but from someone who comes from a peaceful heart, I just don't see the necessity of it."

"I just don't think, for the general public, it's a good idea. We're not going back to cowboy days," James Peterkin said.

PNC Arena, which is state-owned but privately managed, has no plans to change its no-guns policy, General Manager Davin Olsen said.

"This is the best way to ensure public safety," Olsen said.

University of North Carolina officials have criticized the legislation, saying guns on campuses decrease safety for students, staff and visitors. Private colleges could opt not to permit weapons on campus.

Municipalities also would no longer be able to ban firearms in local parks and trails.

"You have children and small kids around. It's not safe," Kevin Anderson said. "I would fear for (my son's) safety as well as mine."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • RudeDawg May 13, 2013

    If I go into a resturant that prohibits me from carrying my concealed weapon, and I or a member of my family am harmed by an armed assailant: I will sue the owner of the establishment for failure to provide adequate protection for me and my family. I had to take a class, submit to a very extensive background and mental health check, prove I am proficient with a handgun (hit the target I am aiming at) and get finger printed to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun. and as a result am held to a higher standard of behavior than the average gun owner. In NC anyone that can legally own a handgun can carry it in public in plain sight...YOU CAN LEGALLY CARYY IN PLAIN SIGHT! I choose to carry concealed and got a permit so that when I do so I am not breaking the law. Why don't you all read the law before you ignorantly comment on things. Please when you go out in public wear a sign, that you disagree with CCW laws, so I won't use my handgun to save you from an armed assailant.

  • delta29alpha May 9, 2013

    The portion of the law that refers to restaurants and places that serve alcohol is there not so a ccw holder can go drinking at a bar with his weapon. That would be a violation of the law and the terms of the permit. The purposed change to the law simply allows a CCW holder to eat at a "restaurant" that also happens to serve alcohol. It allows you to eat there without violating the terms of your permit. You can not order a alcoholic drink with your meal, if you do it will be a violation just like it currently and always has been. If you are going to a "bar" for the expressed purpose of drinking then you would leave your sidearm at home because taking it would violate the law and your permit terms. It has always been that way and the new law will not change that in any way.

  • tgiv May 8, 2013

    Or they might as well post signs like "This is the Wild Wild West. Enter at your own risk." Anyone can play the absurdity game.

  • robjustrob May 8, 2013

    Businesses might as well post signs like "Protection From Assault Prohibited." I will not take my Friday night party to a restaurant establishment that prohibits me from carrying a concealed firearm. It's an easy decision for me.

  • grumpyhermit May 8, 2013

    Y'all gun owners scare the willies out of me. Wish I didn't have to worry everywhere I go that some random hothead will haul out a piece and start blasting away over some perceived slight by some other random hothead and I'll get caught in the crossfire. Or that you'll go vigilante and miss the criminal you're aiming at and hit me or some other innocent civilian instead.

  • james27613 May 8, 2013

    If you have the concealed carry license, you are NOT allowed to consume alcohol if you are carrying concealed firearm.

    The following post is WRONG.

    Just so they can go and drink with their concealed weapon on them, and murder someone that they don't like in an argument.

  • tgiv May 8, 2013

    Nothing better than more legislation designed to divide. Now we'll need to figure out the firearm policy at a restaurant to decide whether to go there or not. Real business friendly.

  • trianglerelic May 8, 2013

    Something we all fail to take into account is that Gun Crimes are the lowest they have been in decades. Gun purchases are up by 114%, yet gun crimes are down 49% from what they were 20 years ago.
    I'm not suggesting that more guns reduce crime, but the FBI tells us that gun crimes statistics continue to fall year after year. Tougher crime laws and better background checks are the answer, not gun bans, or bans on specific types of guns. .22 caliber rimfire bullets kill more Americans than all other calibers combined, including those from so-called assault rifles.

  • trianglerelic May 8, 2013

    Folks, let's not lose sight of the fact that Lethal force can only legitimately be used to prevent death, very serious injury, or sexual assault.
    You don't pull out a gun to settle an argument. Doing so is Illegal, even for legally owned, carried firearms. Those that have a State issued CCW permit went to school and had this drummed into their heads. If you draw a gun, it better be to stop someone from killing You. To stop a beating that will likely result in serious injury or death to your or someone else that is unjustly being attacked, or to stop a sexual assault.. Conceal Carry Permit Holders are not Law Enforcement. They don't seek out trouble or think they are super heroes. Like most, they take certain precautions to help protect themselves from crime.
    It's no different than you installing a smoke detector in your home, locking your doors at night, or maintaining insurance for a rainy day. I'm sure there are Rambo gun owners, but most are just law abiding citizens

  • Bartmeister May 8, 2013

    Quick comment to get it to 667 comments. The 666 was a little freaky.