NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The House late Wednesday voted to override the governor's veto of a bill that would allow handgun carry permit holders to carry their weapons into places that serve alcohol.
House members approved the override 69 to 27.
The Senate is expected to look on the issue on Thursday.
Because the House has already voted, a simple majority in the Senate would make the bill law.
Under the measure, handgun carry permit holders can bring their weapons into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol as long as they don't drink.
Any such establishment still has the authority to forbid permit holders to carry in their weapons by posting a sign that says no guns are allowed.
The bill's longtime sponsor, Representative Curry Todd of Memphis, has pushed the measure since arriving in the House 11 years ago.
He told News 2 Tuesday the media and Governor Bredesen "mischaracterized" the bill and it should be called the "Restaurant Carry" bill.
"This is a restaurant carry bill whereby if they happen to have a bar you, as a citizen with a handgun carry permit, can go in there [with the weapon] as long as you are not drinking," he said.
In a statement, Governor Bredesen's press secretary said, "Governor Bredesen said last week when he vetoed this bill that he expected an override. He's disappointed with this action but that doesn't change his belief that we can exercise our second amendment rights and common sense at the same time. He believes guns and bars simply don't mix, and this legislation doesn't provide the proper safeguards to ensure public safety. Governor Bredesen stands by his decision to veto the bill."