Bar Owners Buck Gun Law

Tennessee’s recently approved law that will allow handguns in establishments that serve alcohol has some Nashville business owners preparing for potential backlash.

Josh Green, owner of Doc Holliday’s Saloon, told the Tennessean he and others plan to post signs letting patrons know weapons are banned inside their venues.

“This law is creating more problems than it’ll alleviate,” Green said. “You have to worry about serving people who are underage, people who can drink too much, who want to fight. This doesn’t help us.”

Tennessee Hospitality Association CEO Walt Baker told the paper that no restaurant owners he’s spoken to plan to oblige the law, either.

“All you have to do is look at the behavior patterns of society,” he said. “If something happens, you’re going to have to hire an attorney. … It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong these days.”

The law as it’s written now doesn’t offer business owners liability protection should a gun-related problem happen at their building as similar laws in other states do, according to the Tennessean.

The state Senate joined the House June 4 in overriding Gov. Phil Bredesen’s veto of the bill that allows handguns to be carried in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol unless the business posts a sign saying it’s not allowed.

The law is scheduled to go into effect July 14.