Restrictions removed from 'Guns in Bars' bill - WKRN News 2

Restrictions removed from 'Guns in Bars' bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The so-called "Guns in Bars" bill took another twist Monday on Tennessee's Capitol Hill.

A conference committee adopted a version passed by the state Senate.

The measure does not have some of the restrictions of a similar bill passed by the House.

Gone are a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and a ban in 21-and-up bars.

Both the House and the Senate must agree on Monday's action or the bill goes back to the conference committee.

The bill has occupied more debate time in committees and on chamber floors than just about any other of the 2,000 to 2,000 bills introduced by lawmakers this session.

House sponsor Rep. Curry Todd defended changing his position Monday on the merits of the restrictions.

"I thought this scenario was better for handgun permit owners of Tennessee than previous version," he said after being the deciding vote in adopting the Senate version.

Those who want the restrictions think the full House may not adopt the conference committee report.

"We put some sensibilities in the laws [in the House version], guns and booze don't mix I have been told this by my restaurants," said Knoxville representative Joe Armstrong, who voted against adopting the Senate version.

Both chambers could take up the conference committee report on Thursday.

The measure includes provisions that those with handgun-carrying permits not drink if they take their weapon into bars.

The measure also allows bar owners to post a sign saying weapons cannot be brought on the premises.

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