Concealed-carry weapons now allowed in bars
Mandey Brown said she wasn’t surprised when a couple of customers asked if they could bring their guns to Zog’s Pool Hall now that it’s legal.
“I think that’s going to die down,” she said. “I think it’s more of a show-off.”
But Brown, who owns the bar on Henderson Street, said she won’t allow guns at Zog’s. A new law in North Carolina will allow people with concealed-carry permits to bring guns into bars, though the bill does allow businesses to choose to prohibit guns from their establishment.
Under current law, it is illegal to have a gun in places where alcohol is sold or consumed. In July, the General Assembly passed legislation making an exception to that rule for people with concealed-carry permits. The changes will go into effect Oct. 1.
“I just don’t understand why somebody would need a gun here,” Brown said.
“There’s really no need. If someone does bring a gun up here, they will be asked to leave.”
Some other Chapel Hill bar owners haven’t worked out what they will do in response to the new legislation. The management team at Top of the Hill has not made a decision about whether they will allow guns, said floor manager Steve Torchio .
Torchio said he doesn’t think the new law will cause problems.
“I would hope that it would not make too much of a difference,” he said.
“If the person is a police officer or somebody that’s been approved to carry the weapon to begin with, I would think they are a trustworthy person and they have it there with them for a reason.”
Senior Myeshia Floyd said allowing guns in bars might get out of hand if people don’t know how to limit themselves while drinking.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea, only because that opens Pandora’s box and people can abuse it,” she said.
Jeremy Ferry, general manager of Carolina Coffee Shop, said he is opposed to allowing guns in bars.
“People do not make rational decisions when they’re under the influence,” he said. “They’re not allowed to drive, so why should they be allowed to operate a firearm?”
Ferry said he doesn’t know what his policy will be.
“It doesn’t pose as much of a problem for an establishment like this one.”
Chris Carini, owner of Linda’s Bar and Grill on Franklin Street, said people with permits aren’t the problem.
“The person with a concealed-carry permit obviously has gone through the wringer to get it,” he said.
“But what if somebody gets it from them? If there’s a fight, there’s a tussle and their gun gets taken from them — from somebody who is trained and authorized to somebody who is not.”
Carini, who said he won’t allow people to bring guns into his bar, said the changes to the law will probably increase the number of people who bring their guns to bars statewide, but not necessarily in Chapel Hill.
“I don’t think Chapel Hill is a good place to really say anything like that because it’s not like a huge gun (owner) population,” Carini said.
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