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Editorial on gun law misses mark

May 11, 2011
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Your recent editorial, "Reject Change In Ohio Gun Law," May 4, completely misses the mark.

West Virginia and Pennsylvania have never prohibited anyone from otherwise lawfully carrying a handgun in a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol - either openly (by any adult who may lawfully possess a firearm) or concealed (by a person licensed as required by state law.) West Virginia and Pennsylvania likewise have not restricted us from enjoying an adult beverage in moderation while carrying.

Despite the lack of evidence of a need for restrictions on our side of the river, you oppose a very modest bill in Ohio that would allow only individuals who have concealed handgun licenses to carry in a restaurant or bar if they are not drinking. This bill would still leave Ohio's gun laws far more restrictive than those of every surrounding state. Unlike the current laws (or lack thereof) in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, the proposed law in Ohio would continue to prohibit carrying in bars and restaurants without a concealed handgun license and prohibit even a sip of alcohol while a person is carrying a handgun.

Is there some inherent flaw in handguns in Ohio that will cause them to spontaneously leap from their holsters and randomly shoot people if they are carried into a restaurant or bar? Or might it be time to admit that your opposition to the proposed change in Ohio's gun laws is based on irrational fear and not on fact?

While Ohio still has a long way to go in bringing its gun laws in line with those of its eastern neighbors, passage of the restaurant carry bill would be a great step forward. It's time Ohio cease rendering every fine dining establishment a criminal protection zone.

James Mullins Jr.

Beckley

 
 

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