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Posted: 1/16/2006 7:47:43 PM EDT
I recently got the VCDL Update with information about all the house bills that are in play right now, and came across this:

HB 146, Delegate Cole, restaurant ban repeal. Concealed handgun
permit holders can carry concealed in restaurants that serve alcohol
as long as they don't drink. 36 other states allow permit holders to
carry in restaurants that serve alcohol without a problem and until
1995, so did Virginia (and still does if the person openly carries
his handgun)! Concealed handgun permit holders have shown themselves
to be the most law-abiding of any group of Virginia citizens for well
over a decade now. There is no valid reason that they can't be
trusted to go to a restaurant and eat a meal without drinking alcohol.


So my questions is....If you're abiding by the laws as they are written right now and you open-carry into an alcohol serving establishment, are you allowed to consume? I know the law says it's a no-no to be "under the influence of alcohol" and that it will result in revocation of CHP, but it goes on to define "under the influence" as a list of offenses such as DUI, public drunkenness, etc. But what if you go in and have a beer with dinner (please don't go down the "diminished capacities" road here, that's not the point of my post.)? Is it illegal to consume alcohol while carrying either open or concealed?

Thanks to anyone who can clarify.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 3:22:44 AM EDT
Even *if* you could, it would be a very, very bad idea. Gun owners have a bad image to boot. Setting at Outback drinking a beer with your fullize 1911 strapped on is going to make us look really bad we need to set a high example of responsibilty to the average smuck in public, this means not drinking while carrying a gun. Common sense.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 5:56:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kcobean:
I recently got the VCDL Update with information about all the house bills that are in play right now, and came across this:

HB 146, Delegate Cole, restaurant ban repeal. Concealed handgun
permit holders can carry concealed in restaurants that serve alcohol
as long as they don't drink. 36 other states allow permit holders to
carry in restaurants that serve alcohol without a problem and until
1995, so did Virginia (and still does if the person openly carries
his handgun)! Concealed handgun permit holders have shown themselves
to be the most law-abiding of any group of Virginia citizens for well
over a decade now. There is no valid reason that they can't be
trusted to go to a restaurant and eat a meal without drinking alcohol.


So my questions is....If you're abiding by the laws as they are written right now and you open-carry into an alcohol serving establishment, are you allowed to consume? I know the law says it's a no-no to be "under the influence of alcohol" and that it will result in revocation of CHP, but it goes on to define "under the influence" as a list of offenses such as DUI, public drunkenness, etc. But what if you go in and have a beer with dinner (please don't go down the "diminished capacities" road here, that's not the point of my post.)? Is it illegal to consume alcohol while carrying either open or concealed?

Thanks to anyone who can clarify.



That is correct. Legally, you can belly up to the bar with your gun on and order and drink a beer. As long as you're not "under the influence", you can't be charged with anything. I also think its a dumb thing to do, but smart and legal are not always the same thing. It does point out the absurdity of the existing law though.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 6:44:57 AM EDT
I sure hope VCDL supports this one. The last few year's general assemblies are littered with failed restaurant ban removal bills.
It's a rare day that I drink in a restaurant. Incrementalism is the way to go with this topic.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 10:53:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 5:18:05 PM EDT by Hank_Rearden1]

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
Even *if* you could, it would be a very, very bad idea. Gun owners have a bad image to boot. Setting at Outback drinking a beer with your fullize 1911 strapped on is going to make us look really bad we need to set a high example of responsibilty to the average smuck in public, this means not drinking while carrying a gun. Common sense.



+1

Recently I open carried at M&S Grill in Reston. I was sitting at the bar with a friend chatting. My friend was nursing scotch. I was drinking ice-tea/lemonaid (Madden Tea). Each the time the bar-tender brought me a new one, I would get a look from another person at the bar. Upon the receiving the drink, I always say "thanks" to the bartender and stated/asked in a slightly raised voice "this has no alcohol in it right?". And he would respond affirmatively in a slightly raised voice. I would then glance around the bar and whomever was paying attention to me before has gone back to their business. At one point we were chatting it up with some people across the bar who knew I was carrying.. no one seemed to care.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 11:54:12 AM EDT
Thanks guys. This was one of those "what if" questions, and I completely agree that the image of "guy with big gun drinking" is a bad one for the general public. I myself am not a drinker, but the only time I have ever seen someone (besides myself) open carrying in a restaurant, he was drinking and it got me to wondering. I have always assumed that if (God forbid) I had to use my weapon after being at said restaurant, one of the first questions the police are going to ask me is if I was drinking, and I'm comfortable in the fact that my answer will always be "no", whether I'm carrying or not.
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