No more mandated defenselessness in New Mexico restaurants?

I have to take exception to this title, “Guns and Alcohol Could Soon Mix in New Mexico.” The implication, clearly, is that there is some move afoot to legalize the practice of pub crawling with a Glock on one’s hip–a practice few would endorse. In reality, the bill, introduced by New Mexico State Representative John Heaton, does nothing of the sort.

New Mexico State Representative John Heaton recently introduced House Bill 105, a piece of legislation that would permit those with concealed carry permits to bring their firearms into establishments that serve alcohol.

Nothing there, you might notice, about permitting the “mixing” of guns and alcohol. In fact, the bill would not even allow the carrying of firearms into bars in which the majority of the business is the sale of alcohol.

The NRA is a strong supporter of the bill and today released the following statement:

“State Representative John Heaton (D-Carlsbad) has introduced House Bill 105, a measure that would permit Concealed Handgun Licensees to protect themselves in establishments that are licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises IF the establishment derives more than 60% of their annual gross receipts from the sale of food.”

This bill would change the New Mexico law, in other words, that currently mandates defenselessness while in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

It seems to me that the goal of this bill is rather modest–it does nothing to change the prohibition against carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. Contrast that to driving laws–which permit driving with a blood alcohol under .08%. Now, consider the fact that a 230 grain .45 ACP bullet, traveling at 800 feet per second, has a kinetic energy of about 327 foot-pounds. A 2500 pound car, traveling at 50 miles per hour, on the other hand, has a kinetic energy of about 2,089,330 foot-pounds. I am not trying to endorse alcohol consumption while carrying a firearm–just making a point about what potentially dangerous implement people are permitted to have with them (and to even operate) after drinking.

The Brady Campaign, predictably, is apoplectic.

Gun control organizations, both in the New Mexico and across the nation, have argued that the bill would make the state’s bars and restaurants unsafe for workers and patrons. In an Associated Press interview, Brady Campaign senior counsel Brian Seibel called laws that would allow guns to be brought into businesses that serve alcohol “insane.”

You know what strikes me as “insane,” Brian? Prohibiting peaceable people from protecting their lives, and the lives of their families, while in a restaurant, simply because other people might be drinking there.

Oh–by the way . . .

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