Filet minon with a side of guns: OH HB 203

I read this morning that State Reps. Danny Bubps (R-88, West Union), and Jarrod Martin (R-70, Beavercreek)  have introduced HB 203:

…to allow a concealed carry licensee who is not consuming liquor and is not under the influence to carry a concealed handgun in a retail food establishment or food service operation with any class liquor permit issued for the location.

This bill would make it legal for conceal carry permit holders to bring their loaded weapons into restaurants, regardless of liquor permits. The bill as proposed would require restaurant owners to enforce that those holders not consume any alcohol and that, when they enter their establishments, they not be under the influence of alcohol.
I don’t recognize any of the co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans, as being from the Cleveland or NE Ohio area, but I have not checked each one:

The bill has been assigned to the House Public Safety and Homeland Security committee, and is co-sponsored by Reps. John Adams (R), Ron Amstutz (R), Terry Blair (R), Courtney Combs (R), Dave Hall (R), Matt Huffman (R), Shannon Jones (R), Kris Jordan (R), Ron Maag (R), Ross McGregor (R), Barbara Sears (R), Todd Snitchler (R), Joe Uecker (R), Lynn Wachtmann (R), Jeff Wagner (R) and James Zehringer (R).>

The members of the Public Safety Committee are listed here (there currently is no Chair due to Eugene Miller’s resignation and move to Cleveland City Council to replace Roosevelt Coats).  

If you’ve got an opinion on this bill (pro or con), there are all the folks you can start with.

This morning, I spoke with the statehouse person in charge of keeping up with committee assignments and, after the conversation, was left with the impression that it’s very unlikely that this bill is going to go anywhere anytime soon since the budget is consuming the legislature, there’s no chair and the bill is unlikely to be set for a hearing if there’s no chair, though the vice-chair apparently could do that.  

Regardless, I emailed my state rep and asked him to please research what reaction restaurant industry people – including the excellent folks with the Cleveland Independents (whom I also wrote, asking for comment on the bill) – as well as patrons from our district, the 17th, have in regard to this proposal.

What’s your reaction?

7 thoughts on “Filet minon with a side of guns: OH HB 203

  1. Dave – I have not researched what you mention re: the restaurant being liable if a “law abiding cch” is injured or hurt on the premises. I appreciate the links.

    Let’s suppose we construe everything in your favor, it still does nothing, says nothing, gives no respect to the visitors who perceive being endangered by the allowance of guns on the premises. And, I go back to the reality of just what is the 2nd A for and what evidence is there for a need to protect inside the restaurant, consistent with the 2nd A’s intentions? It was the same with the national parks, which have nearly no rate of violence.

    For me – it’s just a question of why and need. I don’t see why and I don’t see the need and do see that many of us don’t like having people with loaded guns in such places. Why are our interests irrelevant? Because of a provision that was intended to help militias in the 18th century?

    This is where the notion of judicial activism gets all messy again too.

  2. OK…I got ya. Thanks for the clarification.

    Let’s look at today (current law). How does a restaurant know that their customers currently are NOT carrying a concealed handgun? The answer is they don’t.

    However the folks that have a conceal carry license enjoy that right and do not want to violate the law by carrying in a liquor serving restaurant. Remember…the folks that have these licenses have taken a state sanctioned class and have passed a criminal background check with photos and fingerprints.

    Conceal Carry folks DO NOT VIOLATE the law…they are the good guys.

    So when the law changes, Conceal Carry folks will more than likely obey the part about not drinking while carrying. Everyone who carries (or shoots for sport) also knows that alcohol, drugs, and guns do not mix. Only the bad guys (aka criminals) don’t care about this stuff.

    Restaurant owners/workers should never know whether a patron is a conceal carry holder (ala the CONCEAL part).

    On the insurance thing…today…(and note…I am not a lawyer)…I believe the law on the books already exonerates business owners from any liability potentially incurred from a conceal carry license holder. That liability would fall on the conceal carry holder individually.

    However, should a business owner prohibit a law abiding citizen from carrying a concealed handgun into their business, AND that law abiding citizen is killed in some manner…then the business owner can be liable.


    Law abiding citizen walks into Convenient Store X to buy diapers for his child. The store has one of those “gun buster” signs. (I like to call these Criminal Protection Zone signs).

    Bad Guy robber comes in…shoots the law abiding citizen who is just there buying diapers and kills that poor person.

    Guess what…that victim’s family could sue the business owner for hanging the gun buster sign because the store owner prevented the victim from potentially protecting himself.

    I would think Insurance companies would rather not have the Gun Buster sign in the window of the business. Because this way…the store owner did not prevent a law abiding citizen from protecting himself.

    There is one thing to remember about conceal carry in Ohio. People who have this license are clean honest citizens. This is not the wild west. Conceal carry holders are taught to walk away from a bad situation even if their feelings get hurt. Conceal carry holders are taught to use that form of defense as a last resort.

    Watch this video:

    Suzanna Gratia Hupp is a good example of a law abiding conceal carry holder. She was not allowed to legally carry in a restaurant, and her parents are dead.

  3. How should a law be enforced seemed pretty straight forward to me but here’s a go:

    Law passes. Restaurant goes w/law and no longer prohibs. But law says CCW permit holder can’t drink while in restaurant w/the weapon.

    How is that enforced? What do you recommend restaurant owners/workers do?

    While I’m at it, any ideas on whether insurance companies like or don’t like guns in the restaurants? Does it make your rate go up or down? Just curious.

    And thanks for the compliment on the blog – I’ve been rather busy with non-blog stuff but thank you.

  4. Jill,

    Enforced from what point of view? A restaurant that serves alcohol would still be able to prohibit law abiding conceal carriers from eating in their establishments by posting the “criminal protection zone” signs. I’m sorry…I mean the “no guns” sign.

    If a restaurant owner does not wish to prohibit law abiding citizens from carrying a concealed handgun…they do not have to.

    Right now because a restaurant already serves alcohol conceal carry permit holders are already prohibited…and they are trained to know that.

    So when you say…”how should a law be enforced?” Give a sample scenario so I understand better where you are coming from.

    Thank you for the reply Jill…and you have a great site.


  5. Anastasia P: Well, my reaction is — why are these presumably keep-government-out-of-the-way-of-business types trying to dictate to businesses what happens in their establishments?
    Oh right, because in the end, the gun lobby means more to them than the rights of individual business owners.

    Not true entirely dude. Even if this law passes, restaurants (that serve alcohol) will still be able to post the “No Guns Allowed” signs. These signs will prohibit licensed Conceal carry holders from carrying a gun into their restaurant. So this law will not infringe on a business owner’s right to prohibit firearms.

    Currently restaurants that serve alcohol do NOT have to post these signs because all CHL holder already know that these places are off limits due to the current law.

    Some facts:

    Conceal Carriers cannot carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

    Conceal carriers CAN carry in a restaurant if it does not serve alcohol AND there is no “NO guns allowed” sign.

    Should the law pass….

    CHL holders will be allowed to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol IF there is no “No guns allowed” sign.

    CHL holders will NOT be allowed to consume ANY alcohol while in the restaurant and while they are carrying.

    There is NO infringement on business owners’ rights if this passes. All they would need to do is post the “Criminals Welcome Here” sign….I mean the “No Guns allowed” sign.

  6. Well, my reaction is — why are these presumably keep-government-out-of-the-way-of-business types trying to dictate to businesses what happens in their establishments?
    Oh right, because in the end, the gun lobby means more to them than the rights of individual business owners.

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