Updated on June 15, 2014:
On May 22d Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a likely 2016 US Presidential candidate, signed into law HB 72 which, among other things, legalizes gun carry in restaurants which serve alcoholic beverages. The law applies to persons holding concealed handgun permits issued or accepted by Louisiana.
Louisiana is the last remaining state which bans gun carry in alcohol serving restaurants. When HB 72 takes effect on August 1st, 2014, all 50 states will allow gun carry in alcohol serving restaurants.
Jindal’s signature on HB 72 drives yet another nail into the coffins of both alcohol and gun prohibition. The new statute reads in relevant part:
§95.5. Possession of firearm on premises of alcoholic beverage outlet… C. (2) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to a person possessing a firearm in accordance with a concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to R.S. 17 40:1379.1 or 1379.3 on the premises of an alcoholic beverage outlet which has been issued a Class A-Restaurant permit, as defined in Part II of Chapter 1 or Part II of 1 Chapter 2 of Title 26 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.”
Gun owners should be free to choose open or concealed carry,” said Pierce, adding “both means of carry offer advantages and disadvantages for self-defense, including deterrence in the case of open carry.”
States vary as to whether gun carriers can drink alcoholic beverages, but many or most states forbid gun carry “while under the influence” of alcohol or other drugs, at least while concealing their weapons. For example, Louisiana law provides that
A permittee may not carry and conceal a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) as defined in R.S. 40:961 and 964. For purposes of the concealed handgun law, a permittee is considered under the influence of alcohol when a blood alcohol reading of .05% or greater by weight of alcohol in the blood is obtained, or a blood or urine test shows any confirmed presence of a CDS.”