BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Todayâ€™s override by the Tennessee Legislature of Gov. Phil Bredesenâ€™s veto of a bill allowing law-abiding citizens to carry firearms into restaurants and bars that serve alcohol will help dispel the myth that armed citizens cannot be trusted in such environments, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms stated.
The new statute retains the prohibition against armed citizens actually consuming alcohol, and it also allows restaurants to ban guns in their establishments. It takes effect on July 14 following a bipartisan 21-9 override vote in the Senate Thursday.
â€œFor years, the gun prohibitionist lobby has perpetuated a sense of fear against armed citizens in various public venues, including restaurants,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œYet in Washington State, where the Citizens Committee is headquartered, it has been legal for many years to carry firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol, and it has not resulted in the kind of violence predicted by opponents of the Tennessee measure.
â€œWe are in agreement with Senator Doug Jackson,â€ he continued, â€œwho correctly told reporters that this bill has been falsely portrayed as creating a threat to public safety and that is nonsense. We believe that, given time, the public will realize that all of the inflammatory rhetoric was nothing more than a campaign of manufactured hysteria.â€
Seventeen Republicans and four Democrats voted for the override, while nine Democrats opposed it.
â€œLicensed citizens all across the country exercise their right of self defense while dining in restaurants that serve alcohol,â€ noted CCRKBA Legislative Director Joe Waldron. â€œThese citizens are a model of constraint. It will be no different in Tennessee.â€