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Bill could allow guns in restaurants

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BATON ROUGE- A bill making headway in the legislature could allow people to bring weapons into restaurants.

The proposed law, authored by Rep. Henry Burns (R-Haughton), has already been approved by the House and is pending a Senate Judiciary hearing.

Burns told News 2, the law was originally intended to allow off-duty law enforcement officers to carry their weapons into establishments that sell alcohol, but an amendment changed the initial intent and now allows anyone to bring weapons into restaurants, not bars.

That interpretation has some restaurant owners wary of how they'll operate if the law passes.

"Tequila's been known to make some people lose some inhibition, so I'd hate for there to be an encounter where tequila and guns would probably not be the best mix," said Jim Urdiales, owner of Mestizo Restaurant on Acadian.

Other restaurant owners would be more receptive to the bill if it included an amendment to only allow people who have a concealed carry permit to bring their weapons into restaurants.

"I do think if you have a concealed weapons license then you're free to carry it where you need to carry it, if you don't have one then you go get one and then you have the right to do it, but just allowing anyone to carry a gun into a restaurant makes me a little uncomfortable because you never know what that one individual is capable of doing," said Dave Remmetter, owner of Chelsea's Cafe on Perkins.

Concealed carry permit holders are already barred from carrying their weapons under the influence.

Burns told News 2 he's comfortable with the way the bill is written now, with an exception to allow for concealed carry permit holders.

The bill is likely to be amended in the Senate, you can read the full bill in it's current state here.

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