Impact of New Gun Law on Business Being Weighed by Bars
Local bartenders are reluctant to add to their long list of responsibilities the policing of concealed weapons.
According to Mark Medsker, guns and liquor definitely do not mix. Medsker is an employee of Boulevard Haus in the Oregon District and has worked for 14 years in the industry. He said it is not clear whether bartenders would also be liable if they served drinks to someone who happened to be carrying a concealed weapon. “How am I supposed to know?” He asked.
The legislation, which allows concealed-carry permit holders in Ohio to bring their guns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol as long as they do not drink themselves, was signed Thursday by Gov. John Kasich. After two different variants of the measure were passed by the House and Senate this spring, a reconciled version of the bill was approved June 15 by both houses.
The new law allows permit holders to carry a concealed firearm into approximately 17,000 facilities that have Class D liquor licenses, which allows on-premise alcohol consumption. Class D category facilities include bars, nightclubs, restaurants, shopping malls, sports stadiums and museums.
Business owners, however, are also allowed by the same legislation to ban guns from their premises by posting appropriate signs. Major sports venues in Ohio have already declared in an announcement that, for safety reasons, they will continue the ban on guns within their premises.
A lot of bar owners and bartenders also believe that bringing firearms into drinking establishments pose a safety concern.
Adam Wirrig, a bar manager at Boston’s Bistro and Pub in Harrison Township, Ohio, said, “First off, I don’t want a gun in my workplace. And second, I don’t want a gun around alcohol.”