Concealed weapons may soon be allowed in bars, restaurants

A bill that is being discussed by the House of Representatives may soon allow concealed weapons inside bars and restaurants.

S-308, which was co-sponsored by Senator Greg Hembree, has been passed by the Senate and the Judiciary Committee in the House.

The bill amended by the house allows Concealed Weapon Permit holders to carry their concealed weapon in a business that sells alcohol to be consumed on the premises, to permit the possesion of a weapon unless notice of a prohibition is provided by the business.

It also prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in a business by someone carrying a firearm.

David McMillian is co-owner of Drunken Jack's in Murrells Inlet. He says they will allow concealed weapons if this bill is signed into law.

"As long as the state is doing their job and making sure that responsible and trained people are the only ones acquiring permits, I think we're fine," said McMillian.

While McMillian isn't against the law, he does question how his staff will know when someone is carrying.

"That's a impractical, that puts you in a situation where you see a bulge in a man's jacket and he orders a drink, what do you do? " said McMillian.

Hembree says the wait staff at restaurants shouldn't have to police who is carrying a weapon or not. The legislation states only a concealed weapon owner can face charges if they violate the law.

David Escobar has a concealed weapons permit, but says restaurants are no place for guns.

"I just feel like you should be, it should be something that you protect yourself and your family, if you're out and somebody tries to rob you. I just don't think if you're going out to dinner or a bar you should have it on you," said Escobar.

If this version of the bill passes in the house, it will need to be passed by the Senate as well and then signed by the Governor to go into law.

To see the bill itself,click here.