Aldermen to vote on gun-free ordinance for restaurants that serve alcohol

September 5, 2013 8:53:31 PM PDT
On Friday, Chicago aldermen are scheduled to take up a proposed ordinance that would require businesses to post signs declaring a firearm-free zone, or risk losing their liquor license.

The ordinance would not apply to grocery stores and liquor stores that sell packaged liquor.

On Thursday night, restaurant owner Glenn Keefer is applauding the proposed ordinance.

"We support the second amendment," said Glenn Keefer, owner, Keefer's Restaurant. "I just feel that having guns in places that serve alcohol, loaded weapons, it just doesn't go."

The ordinance, if passed, would require all businesses that serve alcohol in the city to do what Keefer's Restaurant has done: post signs at the entrance telling customers that guns are not allowed.

"Just like drinking and driving is illegal, it should be illegal to bring guns into a place that serves alcohol," said Keefer.

The legislation is being proposed by Alderman Ed Burke, following the state's passage of a concealed carry law. Starting next year, that would allow permit holders to carry guns outside the home.

The state law currently bans concealed carry in bars, where more than 50 percent of sales come from serving alcohol.

Concealed carry is allowed in places like restaurants, where alcohol sales are less than half of the business, unless the restaurant declares itself firearm-free.

"It's ridiculous. They're just trying to throw their weight around. . .and see how far they can push gun owners once again. Gun owners in this state are tired of being pushed," said Richard Pearson, executive director, Illinois State Rifle Association.

On Thursday night, the Illinois State Rifle Association questions whether such an ordinance is legal.

"It's pre-empted by state law. The state law presides over concealed carry firearms. And whether the city of Chicago likes it or not, that's the law of the land," said Pearson.

A spokesperson for Ald. Burke says the ordinance is legal because it governs liquor licenses, which the city does have jurisdiction over. The issue will be taken up Friday morning in committee.


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