From the Richmond Times Dispatch: (by Jim Nolan)
The Virginia Senate today cleared the way for Virginians to be allowed to carry concealed guns in cars and bars.
In a 22-18 vote, senators approved Senate Bill 334, which would allow people with concealed gun permits to carry their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol.
Six Democrats joined 16 Republicans to pass the legislation, which had passed the General assembly last year but was vetoed by then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
Senators also passed legislation that would allow Virginians who do not hold concealed gun carry permits to transport their handguns in a locked glove compartment or container in their car. The vote on Senate Bill 408 was 24-16, with six Democrats joining 18 Republicans to support the bill.
Both bills now head to the House of Delegates, which is likely to pass them. If the measures clear the House, Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the bills into law.
The legislation allowing concealed guns in bars prohibits any concealed gun carrier from drinking alcohol while armed.
Currently gun owners may bring their weapons into restaurants, provided the guns are clearly visible. They can also carry concealed weapons into restaurants that do not serve alcohol. Restaurant owners, however, have the right to exclude guns or weapons of any kind from their establishments.
All of us can think of reasons why drunks and alcohol don’t mix. However, is that what this is really about? What are the compelling reasons for people to carry concealed in a bar? Should those people be forbidden to consume alcohol also?