Guns in N.C. Restaurants? What You Need To Know

>>Moms Demand ActionBY JUDY PANITCH     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 nine months, the organization has more than 100,000 members with a chapter in every state in the country. For more information or to get involved visit >> Follow on Facebook >> or on Twitter @MomsDemand.

Guns in N.C. Restaurants? What You Need To Know

Moms are used to asking about guns in the home when our kids go on play dates or when they visit new friends. Beginning Oct. 1, we’ll also need to ask every time we go out to eat.

North Carolina’s newest gun bill, passed during the most recent legislative session, vastly expands the places where concealed carry weapons permit holders may bring loaded concealed firearms. Among the newly permissible locations will be bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Nearly every restaurant I visit has at least a short wine and beer list. So, unless the owner opts out by posting a conspicuous sign prohibiting concealed weapons, I won’t know who—or what—I am sitting next to. Nor will the restaurant’s staff.

Furthermore, while no one in North Carolina is supposed to drink while carrying a weapon, there will be no way for servers to ensure this; individuals carrying concealed are not obligated to disclose their weapons to anyone other than a law enforcement officer.

Having a weapon at hand can turn ordinary situations dangerous or even deadly. Negligence happens, fights break out, depression descends, and anyone can be in the line of fire. Only last month, a CCW permit-holder was  shot by her own gun in a Wake Forest Staples when her toddler reached into mom’s purse and fired the handgun it contained.

That is why, along with other members of  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, our allies, and concerned diners statewide, I have been talking with restaurant owners and managers about my concerns. Even now, many restaurants  have no idea that this law will soon take effect. Owners have been grateful for the information and the chance to speak with their lawyers, insurers, and local patrol officers. Nearly all have opted to exclude firearms.

Let restaurant owners know that, beginning Oct. 1, concealed carry permit-holders may bring loaded concealed handguns into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, unless the owner posts a “conspicuous notice” prohibiting concealed weapons. The law does not specify additional requirements for the sign. Owners can make one themselves, download one from the Internet, purchase one, or request a free sign or sticker from the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action (  or groups such as the  Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and  North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.

The most important message to convey is to let restaurant staff, managers and owners know that you wish to eat in places that are free of firearms. Tell them that you are concerned about the safety of your family and the staff that serve you. Make a commitment to “Ask Before You Eat” and together, let’s offer our business and support to the restaurants that put the safety of our families and loved ones first.

>>Judy PantachJudy Panitch is a mom in the Triangle and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

There are 5 comments

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  1. Sean D Sorrentino

    Enjoy getting told “We will not post” by almost all restaurants. Why would most restaurants wish to offend over 300,000 of the most law abiding citizens of North Carolina plus millions of out of state CHP holders who might visit NC as tourists?

  2. Ken Soderstrom

    According to the CDC study initiated by Obama’s executive order firearms are used between 800,000 and 3,000,000 times yearly for self defense. Also those who resist violence with a gun have better outcomes than those who don’t.

    Almost all mass murderer is committed in “Gun Free Zones” where victims can’t fight back.

    Intentionally creating situations where citizens are defenseless is 180* from what you should do for safety. Do you really hate inanimate objects so much you are willing to expose you children to greater danger to avoid them?

  3. Angel Schroeder

    Thank you so much for this information, Judy. I will be asking restaurant owners about it. It hadn’t occurred to me that they might not be aware of it.

  4. Becky

    A “No Firearm” sign will keep legitimate carriers away, but criminals won’t care and will continue to do what they want. You may think you are entering a gun free zone, but are you really?

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