A committee substitute was introduced by the sponsor, Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, that made it apply to restaurants that serve alcohol but not in full-service bars. The law would allow restaurants to post signs that say weapons were not allowed.
The bill also clarified that those who have concealed weapons would not be able to drink alcohol while carrying their concealed weapons.
Already, there is a section of the law that says, “No person shall carry a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
The law also currently allows concealed carry in restaurants that serve beer and wine — but not full-service bars or restaurants that serve hard liquor.
The bill pitted the two NRAs against each other — the National Rifle Association was in support of Cook’s bill while the National Restaurant Association opposed the move.
“We feel this type of legislation places an additional burden upon the server,” a National Restaurant Association representative said.
In the fiscal impact report, the Department of Public Safety says there was little need for such a law.
DPS also states there is no justifiable reason for a concealed carry permit holder to believe that his or her need for armed self-defense is heightened in a bar, due to the fact that most such establishments are already well-accustomed to effectively handling conflicts with customers and have hired and trained staff (security officers and bouncers) to deal with the problems.
The two major changes to the bill were suggested by DPS.