Kentucky Senate OKs conceal carry guns in bars

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - At the Capitol, Senate Bill 60 is turning heads, but on the barstools it's a bill that's scratching heads.

"I think you're asking for trouble. Mixing alcohol and guns can be obviously a dangerous thing," said Justin Thompson who owns Belle's Cocktail House, in Downtown Lexington.

Senate Bill 60 would allow gun owners with a conceal carry license to carry inside a place that sells alcohol, with the condition that the gun owner not drink.
On Thursday the bill passed through the Senate with a vote of 30 in favor and four against.

"In my opinion, (it's) kind of silly. I'm not sure if we need to bring the 'neighborhood watch' into the bar," continued Thompson.

While Thompson's a Second Amendment supporter, and he knows conceal carry holders must pass background checks, he's still not so sure about this measure.

"I realize there needs to be some kind of guidelines and restrictions."

Public reaction varies on the idea.

"I don't think it's right. I think it's dangerous and I think people will be sorry they did that," said Joe Earwood.

"Not allowing them to drink, while they have their firearm, I think that's pretty good regulation," responded Brandon Austin.

"I think for everyone's safety, it's just not the best idea," said Kate Duncan.

Senator John Schickel (R), from Boone County in northern Kentucky, did not return our call for a comment on the bill he is sponsoring. Senator Schickel also sponsored a bill earlier this year that would allow for monkeys to be service animals in Kentucky.
Now the bill will be turned over to the house for their consideration. Still for many in the public, the bill raises a lot of questions about what will happen if it becomes law.

Another bar manager I spoke with questioned how it would be regulated and how her staff is supposed to know if the person is carrying and cannot be served. While businesses could opt to restrict the sidearms, the question would still remain: "Who's going to abide by the law?" wondered Thompson.

Thompson said he'll wait to see what happens next before he looks to take any action for his bar.

Currently state law dictates that conceal carry holders cannot carry their firearm into several places including a police station or sheriff's office, a jail, a courthouse, and a school.

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