Ohio House OKs Guns in Bars

Move allows 'toxic mix' of guns and booze, opponents complain
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2011 8:12 AM CDT
Ohio bar owners will still be allowed to put up 'No guns allowed' signs.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Concealed-carry permit holders in Ohio will be allowed to bring their guns into bars, restaurants, and open-air arenas serving alcohol—so long as they don't drink—under legislation passed by the state House. Three Republicans joined the chamber's Democratic minority in voting against the controversial bill, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The state Senate has already passed a similar measure, which bans armed Ohioans from drinking alcohol in bars or entering them if they are already under the influence.

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman joined bar owners and law enforcement groups who opposed the bill, labeling it a "toxic mix" of guns and alcohol. "We have to start injecting some common sense into these discussions. It's real simple: liquor plus guns equals trouble," he said, suggesting lawmakers allow guns to be carried into state House and Senate chambers if they think guns are such a good idea in bars. But it doesn't look like that will happen: The Dispatch notes that Gov. John Kasich, looking to bump up security, recently said he would like metal detectors to be installed at the Statehouse.

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