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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Contact the Governor on the Restaurant Ban

Well, it did not take long for editorial pages to start expressing dismay that concealed carry permit holders want to be able to protect themselves and their families, even when they decide to enjoy dinner at Applebees, Olive Garden, or any other restaurant that also serves alcohol. Today the Lynchburg News and Advance jumped on the bandwagon urging Governor Kaine to do what he has pledged - veto SB1035 - Senator Hanger's bill repealing the "restaurant ban.

Kaine and the News and Advance must be sharing talking points.

Guns and alcohol don’t mix.

It could lead the state back to the frontier days.

I’m very nervous about the public-safety impact of that bill.

The editorial references the prohibition against consuming alcohol while carrying in the restaurant then asks the question "why else would that patron of the bar be there?" This is the reason this bill did not pass both houses of the legislature for years and why it my well get vetoed the second year in a row - we are fighting the battle on their terms. The anti-rights crowd is using focus group tested sound bites like "guns in bars" when there are no bars in Virginia. We are talking about restaurants that simply make alcohol available to their patrons who are enjoying lunch or dinner. Its the Applebees, TGI Fridays, Olive Gardens, Famous Daves - they are too many to name.

Contact the Governor's office by phone and by email today. Urge him to sign SB1035. Tell him you should be able to protect yourself and your family while dining in one of the above or one of the numerous other family restaurants that just happen to make alcohol available. Remind the Governor that he signed a bill last year (SB776) that allows off duty Commonwealth Attorneys to carry concealed in restaurants and they are not even prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying like SB1035 requires. Also remind the Governor that SB877 which passed this year, allows retired law enforcement to carry in restaurants and they would not be prohibited from consuming alcohol. Tell Governor Kaine it would be hypocritical to veto SB1035 after having signed SB776 last year and would be the height of hypocrisy to veto SB1035 if he signs SB877.

CHP holders are some of the most law abiding people in the country. Reporter Howard Nemerov has analyzed data on the subject and written;

Concealed carry licensees make a considered choice to conduct themselves a certain way in public, and have invested the time, money, and effort to certify that their level of commitment is worthy the public’s trust. They voluntarily undergo background checks normally reserved for sensitive jobs or criminal arrests, in order to certify that they rank among our most law-abiding citizens prior to receiving their license. These data prove that trust has not been in vain.
About 160,000 people have active permits in the Commonwealth according to the Virginia State Police. That number was up more than 30,000 in 2008 from the previous year. There is not public safety concern with CHP holders carrying in restaurants.

You can contact the Governor here.

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