Arizona legislators have come up with a plan to legalize loaded weapons in places that serve alcohol, reports the Arizona Republic. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure 5-to-2 yesterday. It provides that people avoid actually drinking an alcoholic beverage while carrying the loaded weapon.
After falling one vote short of passage last year, the so-called guns-in-bars bill is back for another shot. This year, with key opponents having been replaced by more conservative-leaning lawmakers, backers are optimistic. Darren LaSorte, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, said law-abiding gun owners should be able to dine in restaurants without leaving their weapons at home or in the car, where they are useless for protection. Establishments that don’t want guns inside could still prohibit them by posting a sign at the front entrance. Opponents, including police and major restaurant and hospitality associations, say a sign should be required if guns are welcome in a business, not the other way around.