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Bill would let permit holders take guns into restaurants with alcohol

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- How well do guns and alcohol mix? A new bill in the General Assembly would allow people with concealed carry permits into restaurants where alcohol is served.

This is not the first time gun activists have pushed for this bill, but with recent debate on gun rights, not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

"I think that if a person is legally entitled to carry a concealed weapon, I don't think the location matters as much as a person with a weapon," said Ricci Wright, the store manager at Shooter's Choice in Wilmington.

The concern for many is if guns and alcohol should mix.

"As far as introducing alcohol in the situation, on the surface that sounds bad, but those same folks are driving back and forth to those restaurants, so assuming they have control of their intake of alcohol whether or not legally impaired for driving an automobile I'm assuming they have the same responsibility for their weapon," Ricci said.

Others disagree. They say just like having a designated driver, you should have a designated gun holder.

"As far as someone you know, someone being able to bring a loaded weapon into a restaurant where people are drinking, I don't think it's a very good idea," bartender Andrew Flynn said.

Many question if this will keep people safer. One supporter of the bill says it's OK only if the restaurant owner allows it.

"If you have the right to bear arms, I think it becomes upon the owner of the establishment whether he wants you in or out with a weapon," Thomas Russell said. "But you should have the right to carry a weapon all times, except where someone says you can't that owns the building."

Advocates argue that restaurants that serve alcohol are spots where law abiding gun owners are vulnerable to criminals.

The bill would also keep the names of concealed carry permit holders from being public information.

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