Tennessee Guns In Bars, Restaurants Law In Effect - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Guns In Bars, Restaurants Law In Effect

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The first day of a new law that allows handguns in Tennessee bars and restaurants is being met with opposition from some establishments' owners.

The law, which allows guns to be carried in places that serve alcohol, took effect Tuesday.

Many bar and restaurant owners are already taking steps to prohibit the weapons by using a provision of the law that allows them to post signs saying guns are not allowed.

Irene Fagiano at Marathon's Bar and Grill put up signs to keep guns out. 

"I think it's a stupid law. I think it's a terribly stupid law," said Fagiano.

Patrons like Geno Krajewski, who frequents Marathon's, said alcohol and guns do not mix.  

"Definitely alcohol will deter your judgment and make you do things that you wouldn't normally do if you were sober," said Krajewski.

Those who support the new law said it will actually help the businesses.

"Handgun carry permit holders feel the responsibility to keep our society safe," said handgun instructor Charles Johnson.

A strong advocate for allowing guns in bars is Nikki Goeser, whose husband was killed in a Nashville bar this past spring.

"I had to leave my gun in my car the night my husband was murdered," said Goeser.

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Davidson County Chancery Court sought an injunction to try to stop implementation of the law, but Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled Monday against blocking it.

However, she set a hearing in 90 days to further discuss plaintiffs' arguments that the law is constitutionally vague.

Governor Bredesen vetoed the legislation, but lawmakers overrode his veto. Nearly 40 other states have a similar law in place.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Story)

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