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The ORA Provides Legal Analysis on How “Guns in Restaurants” Law Could Impact Your Operation

The law, scheduled to take effect on September 28, has been analyzed by legal counsel

The new law allowing those with a concealed weapons permit to bring their gun into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol was signed by Governor John Kasich on June 30.  The new law will take effect September 28, 2011.

As you may recall, the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) opposed Senate Bill 17. The ORA and our Government Affairs Committee reviewed numerous studies and reports analyzing laws that allow those with concealed weapon permits to bring their guns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. The ORA understood and appreciated the arguments for and against this legislation.  However, we could not identify any credible, conclusive evidence that this legislation would make Ohio citizens any safer or that the existing law was not working.

The most persuasive information we found was a February, 2011 poll of 600 registered voters in Ohio (conducted by Momentum Analysis, commissioned by Mayors Against Gun Violence) which found that 80% of Ohioans polled opposed “allow carrying of guns in bars, clubs and other establishments that serve alcohol.”

Despite the polls and opposition from law enforcement, the change is now law.  To answer some of the frequently asked questions that we have received from members, we asked our legal counsel to prepare an analysis.  The legal memorandum, which you can access here, is primarily designed to tell you what the law says about your legal responsibility, as well as that of your employees.

If you have any questions about the new law, please contact ORA Director of Government Affairs Richard Mason at (614) 246-0130.

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