Concealed guns may soon be allowed in bars

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PHOENIX - It almost became law four years ago and now lawmakers are giving it another shot.

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New bill would allow concealed weapons in bars - azfamily.com's Ryan O'Donnell reports lawmakers want to make it legal to take a gun into a restaurant and bar.

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They are trying to make it legal to bring a gun into a restaurant and bar. There are a lot of people who believe this bill will go through, especially because it got to the very end four years ago before getting shot down.

If it passes, people with concealed weapons will be allowed to walk into restaurants without leaving their gun behind.

Rick Nelson, who has a concealed weapons permit, just bought another gun, a .22 to go along with his 9 mm he keeps hidden under his shirt. He admits, "I'm hoping it goes through. I'm hoping they allow us to carry them everywhere we want or they can store them for us."

Right now the state senate is considering allowing people who have a conceal weapons permit, like Nelson, to bring their hidden gun into restaurants that sell alcohol. Four years ago a similar bill passed both the House and Senate but was vetoed by then Governor Janet Napolitano.

Back then Sherry Gillespie, with the Arizona Restaurant Association, was against the idea of letting people with guns inside their establishments. This time around, with a few changes later, there is a change of heart. She says, "This is a bill that does strengthen the property rights of our restaurants and that's very enticing to our restaurant members and that's one of our top concerns."

Property rights, like letting the restaurant owner decide whether or not to allow concealed weapons inside. If this proposed laws passes the owner could put up a sign announcing "No Concealed Weapons."

Ryan Lotz is in the process of getting his CCW permit but he does not think you should mix guns and alcohol even if the law states you are not allowed to drink. "Getting conceal weapons permit I know if someone is trying to come after me, you know, I'm going to use my pistol and you know, that's a bad thing, you shouldn't need to bring a gun into a bar, if you're going into a bar to drink, then you're going to have fun, you know."

If the bill passes, only people with a concealed weapon permit will be allowed inside a restaurant that serves alcohol. If you are carrying it, it means you cannot drink. If caught you are looking at a Class 3 misdemeanor.

To learn more about the bill go the the .