JUDGE STRIKES DOWN GUNS IN BARS LAW: LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY VAGUE
Associated Press New York Times Memphis Commercial Appeal
Chancellor Bonnyman’s Ruling (here)
Brief inSupport of Partial Summary Judgment
Amended ComplaintSecond Amended Complaint (doc)
Brief on Unconstitutional Vagueness
Brief on Legilsative History
Opinion Letter of Shelby County (Memphis) Attorney’s Office on Unconstitutionality of New Law
New York Times Article
50 State Survey of Laws: Firearms Where Alcohol Is Served
The claim that “40” states have “similar laws” to Tennessee’s new guns-in-bars law is false and misleading.
No state, by statute or regulation, expressly allowed firearms to be brought into bars until the Tennessee legilsature passed Public Chapter 339, T.C.A. sec. 39-17-1305(c).
Tennessee law, unlike the law in the other 14 states that permitted carrying firearms into restaurants (but not bars) that serve alcohol, does not distinguish between bars and restaurants.
All bars and clubs on Second Avenue & Broadway in Nashville and on Beale Street in Memphis, for example, are licensed as restaurants. Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 57-4-102(27)(A).
Because bars, saloons, nightclubs and restaurants with bar areas are notorious for fights, assaults and breaches of the peace, carrying loaded gunsis expressly prohibited by lawin bars, nightclubs or bar areas serving alcohol in 24 states [23 now that AZ changed it’s law]:
- (Alaska (AK ST s 11.61.220; AK sec. 04.11.100) , Arizona [former law] (AZ ST s 4-244), Arkansas (AR ST s 5-73-306); Florida (FL ST s 790.06) Georgia (GA ST s 16-11-127), Kansas (K.S.A. 75-7c10(12)), Kentucky (KY ST s 237.110), Louisiana (LA R.S. 40:1379.3), Maine (ME ST T. 17-A s 1057), Michigan (MI ST 28.425o), Mississippi (MS ST s 45-9-101), Missouri (MO ST 571.107), Montana (MT ST 45-8-328), Nebraska (NE LEGIS 430 (2009), New Mexico (NM ST s 30-7-3), North Carolina (NC ST s 14-269.3) , North Dakota (ND ST 62.1-02-04) , Ohio (OH ST s 2923.126), Oklahoma (OK ST T. 21 s 1272.1), South Carolina (SC Code 1976 sec. 16-23-465), South Dakota (SDCL sec. 23-7-8.1), Texas (V.T.C.A., Penal Code sec. 46.03), Washington (WA ST 9.41.300(1)(d), Wyoming (W.S.1977 sec. 6-8-104).
Two states do not permit carrying handguns at all (no permits) (Illinois, 720 ILCS 5/24-1 and Wisconsin, W.S.A. 167.31(2)(b)).
Virginia law expressly prohibits carrying concealed weapons where alcohol is served. Va. Code Ann. 18.2-308(J3) (2005).
Nine states expressly prohibit handguns (firearms) in restaurants and bars (Arizona [until law was recently changed], Louisiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio and South Carolina).
Alaska prohibits carrying loaded firearms where alcohol is served; the law creates an affirmative defense for carrying a firearm in a restaurant (defined and limited by law to serve only beer or wine [not liquor]) if alcohol is not consumed.
Fourteen states expressly permit a concealed weapons permit holder to carry a gun into a restaurant that serves alcohol (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming). However in none of these states can a concealed loaded weapon be brought into a bar. Five of those 14 states expressly preclude carrying a loaded weapon into areas of the restaurant primarily devoted to drinking (i.e. the bar) (Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi and Wyoming). Six other states prohibit carrying guns in establishments that derive less than 50% of their total annual food and beverage sales from prepared meals (Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota Texas and Kansas (30%). Washington prohibits guns in 21 and up establishments. Oklahoma and Michigan prohibit carrying guns if the primary purpose of the establishment is drinking.
22 other states (Alabama, California, Colorado Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, , Idaho, Iowa Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia) have no express permission or express prohibition statutes related to carrying a gun where alcohol is served. However, these states take action under public nuisance laws when the state or city becomes aware that guns and/or shootings are occurring in bars. These states also restrict carrying in places where alcohol is served through the state permitting process. Here, for example is what the Board of Permit Examiners says in Connecticut:
- “Q37. Does my permit to carry pistols and revolvers permit me to carry a handgun anywhere, anytime? A. No. Mature judgment dictates that no handgun be carried unless carrying the gun at the time and place involved is prudent and proper in the circumstances. For example, handguns should not be carried: 1. Into a bar or other place where alcohol is being consumed. 2. In any situation involving stress such as an argument. 3. After consuming alcohol or any drugs other than those legally prescribed.” https://www.ct.gov/bfpe/lib/bfpe/laws_pertaining_to_firearms_2002.pdf
6 of these 22 states also have no state preemption (CA, CT,HI,NY,NJ,MA) unlike Tennessee.