VA Gun Rights Advocates Reject Proposal to Ban Guns in Restaurants and Bars

Gun and alcohol. 9mm pistol gun and cup whiskey cognac or brandy.

The bill introduced by Virginia state Senator Saddam Salim, a Democrat, would ban people from bringing concealed handguns in any businesses with a license to sell and serve alcohol on the premises—even if they’re not themselves drinking. Doing so would be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor that could lead to a fine or even jail time. …

In Virginia, Salim’s proposed bill has angered gun rights advocates who said the legislation would unfairly punish law-abiding gun owners in the state.

The NRA criticized Salim’s bill in a written statement saying that “this extension is a clear indication that the underlying intent is not safety, but rather a systematic effort to undermine the self-defense rights of law-abiding Virginians.”

NRA Spokesperson Billy McLaughlin added: “Self-defense is a fundamental human right and a deterrent to crime. Sadly, bars and restaurants, whether they serve alcohol or not, are not immune from criminal acts. It’s essential to recognize that public spaces are safer when citizens are equipped to protect themselves and others.”

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with the goal of protecting the right to keep and bear arms, said in a statement that the bill is “a classic example of a solution looking for a problem to solve.”

The group said that “Virginia’s 680,000 permit holders, as well as hundreds of thousands of non-resident permit holders visiting Virginia, have been peaceably carrying concealed handguns in restaurants and clubs that serve alcohol since 2010.”

Salim told WUSA9 that one of the concerns he heard the most from his constituents was the fear that someone might be carrying a concealed loaded weapon while they’re out for dinner or lunch.

— Giulia Carbonaro in Proposal to Not Mix Guns and Alcohol Leaves NRA Enraged

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