Proposed bill would allow guns in bars

Published: Feb. 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, SC (WYFF) - Controversy is brewing over a proposed bill in South Carolina that would allow guns in bars and restaurants.

A Senate panel approved the bill this week. If passed, concealed weapon permit holders could bring a gun into establishments that serve alcohol as long as they're not drinking. It also has to be OK with the business owner.

Josh Beeby, the owner of downtown Greenville bar Barley's, doesn't support the bill. He doesn't believe guns should be allow in places that serve alcohol and worries about enforcement.

"What are we going to do? Ask them for their ID when they have a beer and gun permit if they have one?" said Beeby.

State Sen. Shane Massey, a co-sponsor of the bill; said it's about trusting gun owners.

"These folks value their permits. These guys are not going to do something to jeopardize a permit to have a beer. These are the good guys that follow the law," said Massey.

During hearings on the bill, some spoke in support of allowing drinking as long as the person was responsible about it, for example, having a glass of wine with dinner.

Massey says that change would doom the bill that is just narrow enough to pass.

The proposed bill now moves to the full Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

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