Yesterday the News and Observer wrote a poorly thought out opinion piece about some restaurant legislation which has just been introduced in the North Carolina Senate. The bill would allow concealed carry in all restaurants which are not posted. The N&O titled their stupidity “A foolish gun bill” and it appeared they at least partially understood the bill when they published, “are sponsoring a measure to allow concealed handguns in restaurants and in bars that serve enough food to be considered primarily eating establishments.” Currently under North Carolina law a person with a CHP can have zero alcohol in their system, that does not change and will not change. What does change is where they can eat with a concealed handgun. Currently the law only allows establishments which do not allow sale and consumption on premises. So one can tool into Golden Corral, Taco Bell, Mayflower Seafood and any number of places and so long as they are not conspicuously posted with a sign prohibiting concealed carry they are fine. Where the law does not allow someone to go is any establishment which serves alcohol. So I can go to the Chinese place down the street, but the multi-cultural Asian place next door is out since they have beer and wine. Sometimes it becomes a problem. The person with the CHP walks in, sees no bar, orders, then heads to the bathroom and spots a draft or wine bottles and quietly exits to leave their firearm in the car.
I’m not quite sure what the N&O believes is dangerous. The person with the CHP has had an extensive background check, filled the paperwork and been fingerprinted. They have been through class and range work and generally those with a CHP are more proficient with their firearms than the LEOs serving the community. I rarely hear of anyone with a CHP discharging or even displaying their firearm and when they do it is usually to stop a threat and the person is quietly thanked for their role. It’s stupid someone cannot eat at an Applebee’s or a Chili’s, but can get frozen custard from Goodberry’s, or stroll into Krispy Kreme and be legal. I’m sure the original thought was let’s keep the person away from bars, but in reality it’s restricting restaurant choice.
Luckily the thugs haven’t caught on. If they did, they would be waiting for you as you come out of that high-end restaurant and knowing the chances of a law-abiding citizen being armed are slim to none, they would target the patrons as they return to their car. It’s foolish to believe that just because one pays more for dinner they are safer. The reality is you are less safe because one of the nearly 300,000 concealed handgun permit holders in North Carolina will not be there to help you out under the current law. There ya go N&O, chew on that!