Wild West Mentality Thrives in Arizona: New Guns in Bars Law

September 30, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The State of Arizona continues to promote a Wild West mentality with its worship of firearms, as one of about a dozen “Gold Star” open carry states having a complete preemption of all firearms laws. The open carry of firearms is quite common on the streets of Arizona, and now a new law allows gun toting patrons to walk into bars and restaurants serving alcohol armed to the teeth with their favorite weapons of choice.

The new law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer, allows patrons with a concealed-weapon permit to take their loaded six-shooter into a local saloon starting today. The law does not allow gun-carrying patrons to drink alcohol. And bar owners have the option to keep guns out of their bars, by displaying state-issued “no guns allowed” signs.

Despite the prohibition of alcohol consumption by armed patrons, many believe it’s bad public policy to allow loaded weapons where alcohol is served and consumed by others.

Mike Nelson, owner of Pomeroy’s bar in Phoenix opposes the law. “Can you think of a single reason guns and alcohol should be intertwined?” said Pomeroy.

The gun in bars law is in response to the campaign by the National Rifle Association to push states to adopt laws allowing bar patrons to protect themselves. And such laws are now the norm rather than the exception, with Arizona becoming the 41st state to allow guns in bars and restaurants serving alcohol.

NRA spokeswoman Rachel Parsons said, “These laws are common sense.” “Restaurants are not immune to criminal activity. Law-abiding people — regardless of whether they’re in restaurants, cars or homes — they should be able to protect themselves against criminal attack.”

State Rep. Jerry Weiers believes the law is necessary to allow residents to protect themselves from criminal attacks while walking from their cars through the no-mans land of a restaurant-bar parking lot.

“I’m carrying that weapon to protect myself, which I have the right to do. What sense does it make for me to have to leave it in the car when I could be accosted in the parking lot?” said Weiers.

According to the Phoenix New Times: “Somehow, this is not some cheesy Sam Jackson movie riddled with F-bombs and stupid plot lines, this is what reality has become in Arizona.”

Arizona’s Wild West mentality has come under criticism recently when resident Chris Broughton, arrived armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun to an Obama town hall event. Broughton also wants President Obama to die.

He belongs to the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, where the Pastor Steve Anderson is praying for Obama “to die and go to hell.” Broughton recently stated in response to a reporter’s question about his wish for President Obama to die that “It would be better now than later.”

Anderson’s parishoners arrive to services armed with not only their bibles, but also their guns.

In response to the disturbing display of armed residents at a presidential event, Arthur Frommer of the popular Frommer’s Travel Guides advised tourists to be leery of traveling to the heat-packing state.

“I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona,” said Frommer.

Meanwhile, gun-toting bar patrons can now eat their hamburgers armed and ready for any signs of danger, like a fellow bar patron pinching one of their french fries.


6 Responses to “Wild West Mentality Thrives in Arizona: New Guns in Bars Law”

  1. Mike Stollenwerk on September 30th, 2009 1:34 pm

    Actually, AZ is the 42d state to allow citizen gun carry in alcohol serving restaurants. See more serious coverage of this civil rights reform at http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m9d30-And-then-there-were-eight

    And as for Arizona being a Gold Star Open Carry State according to Opencarry.org’s rankings, this is correct, but its not because of preemption – almost every state prempts localities from making up gun control – see more at http://www.examiner.com/x-2782-DC-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m9d10-Open-carry-101

  2. RestaurantZoom on September 30th, 2009 2:29 pm

    You are right Sue. Arizona continues to boggle the mind with the gun carrying thing. Here in FL and GA where we spend a great deal of time, AZ comes up infrequently in travel conversations at the offices but when it does, it is almost always in a way that brings guns into the forefront…and not in a positive light. They are considered a deal breaker in many cases for trips out west, etc.

  3. Tim on October 1st, 2009 8:07 pm

    Like Mike said, 42 states allow carrying a gun in a bar with a permit. If you fear law abiding citizens who’ve passed FBI background checks, you should restrict your travels to 8 states which do not allow these dangerous criminals to legally enter your bar:

    New Mexico
    North Carolina
    North Dakota
    South Carolina

    Funny that permit holders are already allowed in Florida and Georgia, so I’m not sure what RestaurantZoom is so scared of. There are no problems at home right? So, unlikely to have any problems in Arizona either.

    Oh, you should also avoid Las Vegas too. Not only are guns allowed in bars, restaurants, and casinos, but those with guns can also drink legally, so long as they do not become intoxicated. NRS 202.257 prohibits possession of a firearm with a BAC of 0.10 or greater. When’s the last time you heard of a drunk guy shooting up a casino because he lost his family savings?

  4. boog on October 3rd, 2009 3:04 pm

    It works in many other other states. When was the last time you read about a licensed gun owner shooting someone in a bar?

    Why so scared? If I am carrying and want to go out to eat why should I have to leave my firearm in the car? No one knows who is concealed carrying anyway.

  5. Norris Hall on October 9th, 2009 10:25 pm

    Wow. Get a look at this shootout in a ohio bar yesterday
    Just like the wild west.
    Arizona, here we come!!!

  6. Russell Tavares on March 3rd, 2010 7:51 am

    Norris, maybe you should cross reference your Ohio bar shootout with Tim’s list of the 8 states that do NOT allow legal firearms owners to arm themselves in bars.

    Are you pointing out that the shootout occurred DESPITE no legal gun ownership in these establishments, or BECAUSE of it? Either one seems to support defensive gun ownership and carry. Thanks for your support.

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