Editorial: "Don’t buy into the Wild West mythology"

During floor debate on HB45, Representative Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) Mike Foley warned about "the Wild Wild West atmosphere" he said "could and would happen" in bars if the bill was passed.

The people and groups who are predicting mayhem if these bills become law are the same that falsely predicted mayhem if HB12, HB347, SB184 and other bills we have supported passed. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. Lives have been saved because of concealed carry.

The Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune has published an excellent editorial in support of passage of Restaurant Carry legislation in Ohio, entitled "Don't buy into the Wild West mythology"

Listening to critics of a proposal to allow adults with concealed weapon licenses to carry hidden handguns into establishments that serve alcohol, it sounds like all that is missing from the scenario are saloon girls and player pianos.

"If you're drinking and you get in a bad mood, who knows what could happen? It's like the Wild West," one bar owner in Ohio told a newspaper reporter.

But those who have concealed-carry licenses already are prohibited from drinking while exercising that right. The bill passed by the Ohio House Wednesday states violating that rule is a felony. A similar measure already has been approved by the Ohio Senate.

State Rep. Curry Todd, a Republican who introduced the bill, said carrying a gun inside a bar, tavern, pub or restaurant never was main rationale for the new law. Rather, Todd said, it would enable people to defend themselves while walking to or from such establishments.

If the governor signs the bill, Ohio would join Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia and Virginia, in enacting laws allowing concealed carry in bars. Already, 18 other states allow this practice in restaurants that serve alcohol.

Of course, owners of such establishments can opt to not allow firearms inside, and post signs stating that policy. Some proprietors of other businesses already have taken such steps.

Despite the Wild West mythology, we expect two groups of citizens will appreciate the extension of their rights: Concealed-carry licensees who travel, and employees of bars and restaurants who are vulnerable when leaving work.

Click here to read the op-ed in the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune.

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