SC Legislature approves guns in restaurants bill

People with concealed weapon permits are a gubernatorial signature away from being able to bring their gun into a restaurant or bar in South Carolina, if there's no sign against it.

The House's 90-18 vote Thursday sends the bill to Gov. Nikki Haley, a gun-rights advocate who's likely to sign it.

The bill makes it illegal for people to drink alcohol while concealing a gun. Anyone caught would have the permit revoked for five years, plus face up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine. Businesses can post a sign barring weapons.

GOP Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens says the bill allows law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves while eating dinner, in case a criminal comes in and starts shooting.

Opponents say mixing guns and alcohol invites problems.