One Year of ‘Guns and Bars’. . . where’s the mayhem?
House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, dramatically expanded North Carolina’s concealed handgun law into restaurants where alcohol is sold and consumed, assemblies of people for which admission is charged, parades and funerals, further into state and municipal parks, and even to a limited extent into educational properties.
‘Guns and alcohol don’t mix’?
As always when we expand concealed handgun laws, opponents and media naysayers predicted shootings in bars, guns stolen from vehicles at schools, and various other sorts of mayhem using platitudes like “guns and alcohol don’t mix.”
GRNC explained endlessly that concealed handgun permit-holders, by virtue of background checks and training, had proven themselves sane, sober and law-abiding since 1995, with a rate of permit revocation on the order of three tenths of a single percent. We explained that permit-holders in restaurants would still be prohibited from imbibing alcohol.
But the dire predictions persisted. Editorials ridiculed legislators. UNC president Tom Ross sent UNC police chiefs to testify against the bill, claiming it would hamper their ability to protect students. Gun control activists pushed restaurants to post against concealed carry.
So what has happened?
It has now been one year since HB 937 became effective. So what has happened? Nothing. GRNC monitors clipping services for gun-related incidents. Just like Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee and other states which adopted restaurant carry, however, we have been unable to find a single instance of a concealed handgun permit-holder misusing a gun in a restaurant or educational property.