Drinking and CCW in Virginia Restaurants


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cavman
January 7, 2006, 06:49 PM
There is a piece of legislation in Richmond regarding alcohol and restaruants and carrying a firearm that is in the legal pipeline.

My question is predicated on the understanding of the request that firearms are not currently allowed in any establishment that serves alcohol. The local organization Va Citizen Defense League has on their web page a description of "drinking" in there whilst carrying.
http://www.vcdl.org/static/2006leg.html

Certainly the argument about having the right to carry where ever one goes regardless of locale is valid, and one that I believe should be opened up to include alcohol serving places. 1. Don't make places available where bad guys know everyone is unarmed.

However, I was under the impression that drinking while carrying, was illegal in general. Or is it drunk, and as an extension, how drunk. Driving drunk drunk? Mixing alcohol and guns is playing with fire in my opinion and am hoping to get some feedback from y'all so I can make a call to my reps regarding "how I feel".

On the one hand I think that one should be able to carry. On the other I am not so sure about the drinking part and that concerns me.


Appreciate any help here as to help me refine my opinion

Thanks

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GigaBuist
January 7, 2006, 08:39 PM
As I understand it the fight in VA is about concealed carry in places that serve alcohol. Under the current law you can open carry in such places. If packing.org (http://www.packing.org/state/virginia/#stateoff_limits) is up to date then it seems that is still the case.

The bill is probably a pre-emptive effort to remove any fears that CCW holders would be drinking while carrying concealed if the law is changed.

Here in Michigan there's a 0.02 limit on posession of a handgun, concealed, open carried, on a range, anywhere. This is about the BAC level you'd be at if you consumed a pint of beer. There's no limits for yahoos with shotguns and rifles out on public land hunting deer though. Go figure.

This (the limit, not drunk yahoos with shotguns and rifles) make sense to me, versus a provision that said you cannot consume any alcohol while carrying in said place for a couple of reasons. For one you don't necessarily want a guy getting loaded up and THEN going out to said establishment to be within the law, and two it still allows for somebody to have 8oz of beer with their steak dinner and be within the law.

Yes, I agree that alcohol and firearms don't mix, but I'm also of the mind that if a bit of beer is enough to turn you into a raging lunatic that shouldn't be in posession of a weapon then you shouldn't be doing that stone cold sober either. I won't go to a range if I've had a drink (never even crossed my mind, actually) but I don't lock up the bed-side shotgun if I have a couple in the evening either.

The nationwide trend for drunk driving limits is 0.08, and it was often 0.10 a few years. That should put the (Michigan) limit into perspective.

If it was up to me I'd lock the limit right at the same as drunk driving laws. My rationale for this is that we simply aren't seeing news reports of CCW holders shooting up places that had a couple of beers and lost it. It's a law abiding group, and putting another restriction on them probably won't do any good, but it MIGHT make a few criminals out of them. It should be up to the community to put the pressure on them to not drink while carrying instead of the law.

In my opinion carrying with a BAC under the limit for driving should be legal. Tolerated by the shooting community? No, of course not, but not illegal.

NateG
January 7, 2006, 08:49 PM
I started to type something, but GigaBuist beat me to it and said it better.

And he's got the VA laws correct. Open is okay in a restaurant (or bar) that serves alcohol. Concealed is a no-no at bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. I'm impressed, I sure don't know the first thing about Michigan's gun laws. (Other than what I heard recently about NFA stuff)

newfalguy101
January 7, 2006, 08:51 PM
I am not from VA and my state doesnt allow concealed carry, so I cant coment on your legislative question.

However, in my opinion, its bad practice to drink any alocahol while using/carrying firearms.

I look at it this way, when I am carrying a firearm I choose to have fun with guns and do not drink, period.

When I choose to drink, the guns stay put away, period.

Works for me

Smurfslayer
January 7, 2006, 09:21 PM
We fight amongst ourselves about some philosophical issue while the antis attack. :mad:

You're pretty well preaching to the choir, but as a data point, far more people are both killed and injured by intoxicated motorists than are injured, much less killed by intoxicated shooters.

That said, the reason this bill exists in its current form is that 1: State Senator Ken Stolle will not uncork "a restaurant ban repeal on concealed carry" from the senate. The democrat governor vowed to veto / oppose such a repeal, thus this attempt eliminates the possibility of legal consumption except for on duty police officers (which means off duty officers would be prohibited under accepted rules of statutory construction). So, all in all, this is a good bill in that it would advance our ball further down the field, and make the overabused practice of cops overindulging while carrying illegal - unless they're on duty (this exists to perform undercover work).

It has practically zero chance of success. In fact, it was tactically unsound to even include it in the list of bills backed by pro-gun groups this year. It will once again be Virginia's "signature" bill as it has been for years now, but the reality is that it has very little chance of passing the senate, surviving a veto, and a snowball's chance in Hell of surviving both, and being overriden.

As a finer point of law, many years back the Fairfax County Police exploited a little known element of Virginia's ABC code 4.1-100 by performing "sobriety" checks at several restaurants, including Champps of Reston. The code for the ABC license makes the premises a "public place". They were pulling people out at random and administering 'sobriety tests'. It was widely villified here, and has never happened again since. VA law also makes it illegal to be intoxicated and carrying concealed already - cops are not exempt from this, but are exempt from the current prohibition on concealing and drinking -confused yet?

cavman
January 8, 2006, 12:53 AM
Thanks for the input.
I went and read the HR146 from the VCDL website and saw the change under section J3 and it clearly says that the change is to allow people to carry concealed. They must not consume however.

So it sounds good to me.

I guess I will write a letter.

Thanks for the input

miconoakisland
January 8, 2006, 05:16 AM
Burgers and chicken!!
Those are my options if I want to eat and carry here in NC.
I carry when I have pants on.
I really get irked when I have to leave my gun in my truck (and can't watch it from inside a restaurant) just because they serve alcohol.
Under NC law, there is a zero tolerence for concealed carry and any amount of alcohol in a person's system.
I do not condone drinking and carrying at all.
But I can drink and stumble out and drive and face the consequences only if caught.
As it's written, I am in much more trouble just packing in a restaurant that serves alcohol, even if I haven't had a sip!
It seems that the places that are restricted for concealed carry are the places most likely to be in need of self defense.
Notice how most restricted places are government controlled? Ever wonder why?
I wrote my senator and congressmen and challenged them to eat in restaurants that didn't serve alcohol for a month and see if they could understand my and all the CHP owners dilema.

Navy joe
January 8, 2006, 06:00 AM
The restaurant ban needs to go, but any attempt to put an alcohol limit on carrying any different than it is from driving is bad law. Cars kill and injure far more people than guns every year. A drunk loses his motor skills and judgement with a car and he kills 4 complete strangers that he hits head on. A CCW drunk loses his motor skills and judgement more than likely shoots himself in the leg. Alcohol doesn't generally inspire mad killing sprees, not like a CCw with two beers will shoot up the bar. I agree that not mixing guns and alcohol is the best practice. Personally I have driven with two beers over dinner, and I have carried in the same condition. With my size that doesn't even get me a .04. I see no point in totalitarian .02 limits for driving or carrying. If it happens I guess I will have to lose the listerine that is always in my vehicle.

mmike87
January 8, 2006, 12:51 PM
Regardless of legality, I will never consume alcohol while carrying a weapon. I am 35, don't drink much anymore, and one or two beers are all it takes to impair me. I'm a lightweight these days.

That said, I think this law is an improvement over what we have now. Ideally, guns would be like cars - no CCW while impaired, that is over .08 or whatever. But I think this is still an improvement over the current law.

But, after one beer I feel like I am at .08 - not no beer and CCW for me, ever! :)

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