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The Kentucky Chapter Of Moms Demand Action Vows To Fight Dangerous "Guns In Bars" Bill

Kentucky Bar Owner, CCDW Instructor Agree Changing the Law Would Be a Mistake

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is speaking out against Senate Bill 60 (SB60), a gun bill that will allow concealed-carry permit weapon (CCW) holders to carry guns in bars, provided they don't consume alcohol. The bill also removes the requirement to conduct training for cleaning a weapon during concealed-carry safety classes. Yesterday, the bill passed a Senate committee and could be introduced to the Senate floor soon.

"This bill is reckless – it puts the public at risk by mixing guns and drinking, and it is anti-business, putting Kentucky bar and restaurant owners at risk for significant liability issues," said Tracey Goodlett, Kentucky chapter leader for Moms Demand Action. "Our members strongly oppose this bill and will alert bar and restaurant owners and their patrons to the potential risks they will face if it becomes law."

Jamie Spaulding, owner of New View Bar & Grill in Louisville and a gun owner, says SB60 is a "terrible idea."

"I make my living as a bar owner and take great pride in making every effort to ensure my customers have a good time and drink responsibly," said Spaulding. "But, in all bars, situations occur where emotions or tempers get out of hand, resulting in altercations."

Just last week, two attempts to break up bar fights ended in gunfire in America: In Danville, KY, a man fired a gun into the air inside a bar, and in Lexington County, SC, a bar patron shot and killed another patron during an altercation.

Spaulding is also concerned about how she and her staff will decipher who is drinking while carrying and who is not, and what type of liability her business will face if staff unknowingly serve a CCW holder in possession of a gun.

"Short of using a metal detector and a Breathalyzer test, how are we supposed to know?" she said.

The sponsor of SB60, Sen. Jon Schickel, was quoted in today's Lexington Herald-Leader about the bill, referring to it as "model legislation" pushed nationally by the National Rifle Association. In the article, Schickel said the law would protect a law-abiding gun owner "if he has to defend himself, God forbid, while he's in a bar."

But even some concealed-carry deadly weapon (CCDW) instructors are concerned about SB60 becoming law. Ken Wilkinson, a CCDW instructor in Hardin County, KY, said making this change "would be a mistake."

"I encourage everyone to carry responsibly but, in this particular instance where drunken bar fights are not uncommon, I believe that even a responsible, sober gun owner might make a bad decision and use his weapon rather than his cell phone, his feet, or his fists," said Wilkinson. "I would not want to see anyone get shot over a few beers and an opinion."

"Kentuckians care about the health and safety of our families and communities, not about legislative priorities for a special interest group," said Goodlett. "Our members call on the Kentucky State Legislature to do the right thing and defeat SB60 if and when it comes to a vote."

About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just one year, the organization has more than 140,000 members with a chapter in every state in the country. The group recently joined forces with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter @MomsDemand.

SOURCE Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

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