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Nashville Tenn. (AP) - A judge ruled Friday that a new law allowing handguns in Tennessee bars and restaurants is unconstitutional.

Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman said the law, enacted earlier this year over the veto of Gov. Phil Bredesen, is "fraught with ambiguity."

She ruled after an hour of arguments in a suit brought by a group of Tennesseans, many of then restaurant owners. The law allowed handgun permit holders to take their weapons into places serving alcohol, providing the establishment makes more than 50% of its profits from food.

There was no immediate word from attorneys for the state about an appeal.

The measure took effect July 14. Thirty-seven states had similar legislation at the time.
http://www.tennessean.com/article/D4/20091120/NEWS01/91120018/Tenn.+guns-in-bars+law+struck+down+

Once again, Tennessee shows its stupidity when it comes to common sense.

I would like to ask the morons who brought the suit, "Where are the drunk permit holders who have shot up all these bars and restaurants since the law went into effect July 14th? Where are these streets that would run red with blood?
 

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2 things.

One is that the State should appeal based upon clear state pre-emption.

Second is that the State should petition the State's highest court for removal of this judge from the bench.
 

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One step forward two steps backward.

It really amazes me the idiots that the media can find to put on T.V. In Knoxville they interviewed two BAR owners, that were obviously Anti 2-A. The PEOPLE on the street interviews where colledge age kids that equate smoking in bars with guns in bars.
 

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Since the governor originally vetoed the bill and had his veto over ridden, I doubt he'll push the AG too hard to try and get the judges ruling overturned. Sorry situation, but we've had it pass here in Virginia twice, both times vetoed by the governor and unable to override him.
 

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What is it that is confusing Judge Bonnyman? The Constitution?
 

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A judge ruled Friday that a new law allowing handguns in Tennessee bars and restaurants is unconstitutional.


The whole UNCONSTITUTIONAL part throws me for a loop. I mean I guess somewhere in The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed it is somewhere coded to read "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless you happen to be a restaurant that serves alcohol...."

Gotta love the people who are so anti-2A. Like Mike said, and I would like to hear and see the same proof -
"I would like to ask the morons who brought the suit, "Where are the drunk permit holders who have shot up all these bars and restaurants since the law went into effect July 14th? Where are these streets that would run red with blood?"
~Steve
 

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A judge ruled Friday that a new law allowing handguns in Tennessee bars and restaurants is unconstitutional.
Hm.

Per the Tennessee state Constitution:

§ 2. Doctrine of non-resistance

That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
There's a lesson, here, somewhere.

Tennessee citizens, are you listening?
 

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You need a law like we have, it is legal to carry in bars, restaurants, etc..... unless they post an approved Atty Gen "no CCW " sign. You cannot be intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol while carrying. We had the same issue in the first law.... could if over 50% of the business was due to food purchases.... and it was "vague" , so they simplified it and said... OK, you can carry in any of them unless there is a sign posted by the business owner.

Keeps it simple... although I would prefer we didn't need a law at all.
 

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The restaurant owners went berserk over this as soon as it was passed. Another example of business (political contributions) over riding citizen rights. There is a very valid sign law in effect in Tennessee and all the owners had to do was properly post if they didn't want CCW in their establishment. They don't want to be the one to say that they are willing to turn down business. they want the law to do it for them.

BTW, for you out of staters, the law did not make it legal to carry into bars, only restaurants that have bars in them.
 

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You need a law like we have, it is legal to ...
Y'all need a law like in Oregon: with respect to alcoholic drinks, you're not a criminal unless you engage in criminal actions while under the influence.

IMO, THAT is what's needed. Nothing more. Why? 'Cause upstanding people are not criminals, not looking to get on a bender while attempting to responsibly protect one's family, not looking to harm anyone. The upstanding won't be a threat. They never were. Only the criminals will be. They were the threat before, and they'll continue to be long after this silly statute is dead and buried. And, as is clear in every other state where such "lax" laws exist regarding alcohol, blood is not running in the streets like the fearful ninnies claim it will. It simply has not happened that way. It is, quite literally, an irrelevancy, since upstanding folks are not threatening, even if alcohol is around.

Said another way ...

Q: Who in the world does such a statute actually protect?

A: Nobody, really, other than the business owner who would prefer not to refuse business outright and be seen for what he really is (a hater of people who dare defend their families).

Said simply: It's not about guns, or even alcohol. It's about control.
 

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I remember when this passed and the restaurant owners were complaining they couldn't enforce the signs they were still allowed to hang up...... are these people really that dumb?

What did they do when someone was in their restaurant with a gun and refused to leave?

call the police obviously.

So what would they do if they had a no-ccw sign hung in the window and someone has a gun in their restaurant and refuses to leave.

call the police.

not really seeing any difference for them. Maybe the media should have brought that up while they were interviewing them, it might have solved this whole problem before all the money was spent for this court case and the ones to come
 

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This is all getting very frustrating, and may take some time to sort out. For now I'll be avoiding establishments that serve, as they obviously don't want my money.
 

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:hand1: :aargh4: :rant:

Thats about all I can say right now without my account being :banned:....
 

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You need a law like we have, it is legal to carry in bars, restaurants, etc..... unless they post an approved Atty Gen "no CCW " sign. You cannot be intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol while carrying. We had the same issue in the first law.... could if over 50% of the business was due to food purchases.... and it was "vague" , so they simplified it and said... OK, you can carry in any of them unless there is a sign posted by the business owner.

Keeps it simple... although I would prefer we didn't need a law at all.
That is what we had that's what makes this so stupid.
 

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You ELECTED the judge Tennessee so you got what you voted for! :smile: Vote them out next election!



BTW, for you out of staters, the law did not make it legal to carry into bars, only restaurants that have bars in them.
You know that sucks when you're visit Broadway late at night visiting the honky tonks and you have to do it naked with all those homeless beggers on the street.
 

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The judge was appointed by the Govenor.
Wouldn't surprise me.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the past few months, to hear what likely was an animated discussion about how to go about submarining the new law.

If the will of the people rubs you raw, you get a judge who'll trump the people's will via edict. That there was a lawsuit must mean the law was wrong, inappropriate, incorrect, bad. Can't be allowing that, now can we?
 

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A judge ruled Friday that a new law allowing handguns in Tennessee bars and restaurants is unconstitutional.


The whole UNCONSTITUTIONAL part throws me for a loop. I mean I guess somewhere in The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed it is somewhere coded to read "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless you happen to be a restaurant that serves alcohol...."

Gotta love the people who are so anti-2A. Like Mike said, and I would like to hear and see the same proof -
"I would like to ask the morons who brought the suit, "Where are the drunk permit holders who have shot up all these bars and restaurants since the law went into effect July 14th? Where are these streets that would run red with blood?"
~Steve
I think it is the State Constitution that the judge thinks this law contradicts. Until the 2A is incorporated to the States, it doesn't apply to this law. Here is the RKBA in the Tennessee Constitution.
§ 26. Weapons; right to bear arms

That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.
If the Legislature passed this law, I wonder what the judge thinks it violates that makes it unconstitutional?
 

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Just received an email from the NRA and am a little shocked to understand that because of this judges decision they are suggesting we should not carry in TN restaurants that serve alcohol. :mad: Is this just that, "a suggestion"? Is it now illegal once again to carry in these restaurants? :confused: I sent an email to my State Rep, Curry Todd, one of the sponsors of HB 962, but have not yet received a reply.

Fairfax, Va. - Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman of the Chancery Court for Davidson County, Tennessee ruled last week that Tennessee's restaurant carry law is unconstitutionally vague because of a perceived ambiguity over the state's definition of restaurants. This law gave right-to-carry permit holders the chance to defend themselves from criminal attack while in a restaurant.

"Right-to-carry permit holders in Tennessee need to be aware that the chancery court's regrettable and incorrect decision effectively suspends the law the legislature enacted and that they should not carry in restaurants until this litigation is resolved on appeal," concluded Cox. "The NRA will continue to fight on behalf of our members, permit holders and victims of crime until this reasonable self-defense measure is restored as Tennessee law."
 

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From the Leaf Chronicle:
http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20091120/NEWS01/91120029/1002/rss

Tenn. guns-in-bars law struck down

LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
Associated Press - Submitted by Chris Smith

NASHVILLE — Tennessee's new law allowing people with handgun permits to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol is unconstitutionally vague, a judge ruled on Friday.

Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman said the law, enacted earlier this year over the veto of Gov. Phil Bredesen, is "fraught with ambiguity."

She ruled after an hour of arguments in a lawsuit brought by a group of plaintiffs, many of them restaurant owners.

Tennessee previously banned handguns in all locations where alcohol was served. The new law made an exception for establishments that serve at least one meal on five days per week and that "the serving of such meals shall be the principal business conducted." Tennessee has no legal definition to distinguish bars from restaurants.

Plaintiffs' attorneys argued that it would be difficult for patrons to know what restaurants met the exceptions, which would put them at risk of breaking the law.

"What citizen could ever know that?" attorney David Raybin asked during the hearing. "It's not within the knowledge to know that fact. It's criminal if you make the wrong choice."


However, Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay Fuller Sanders said patrons who have concerns "can just ask."

"Common sense should not be thrown out the window," Sanders said.

But Bonnyman eventually ruled that language in the current law is "unfairly vague."

Sharon Curtis-Flair, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office, said attorneys will study the opinion and decide whether to appeal.

Rep. Curry Todd, a main sponsor of the measure, said he hadn't seen the ruling but said he will ask the state to appeal. The Collierville Republican said he plans to "re-pass" legislation in January to fix any legal problems.

Plaintiffs' attorney David Smith said Bonnyman's ruling will stand unless overturned by an appeals court or the Tennessee Supreme Court. However, he said the state Legislature could pass a new law.

"But then that would create a new debate," Smith said.

Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson and the chief Senate sponsor, said he expects the law to be restored either through appeals or through legislation.

"I anticipate the first of next week you're going to see legislation filed and we'll establish a clear standard," he said.


Tennessee's new law took effect July 14. Thirty-seven states had similar legislation at the time.

Many restaurants across the state opted out of the law under a provision allowing them to do so. The legislation retained an existing ban on consuming alcohol while carrying a handgun.

Randy Rayburn, who owns three Nashville restaurants, said the judge's ruling is mainly a victory for Tennessee residents who "are opposed to this law because it is vague ... and defies common sense."

Nevertheless, critics complained that guns and alcohol in close proximity are a dangerous combination.

Of the roughly 218,000 handgun permit holders in Tennessee, 278 had their permits revoked last year, records showed. Since 2005, state records show nearly 1,200 people have lost their permits.
 
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