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Tampa considering closing bars at midnight

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In a way to combat crime after the closings of bars and nightlife, one Florida city is considering a drastic move to curb the recent surge of late-night violence.

According to Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS on Dec. 2, Tampa city council member will propose an ordinance that will give the city more say over business establishments that serve alcohol.

One of the more drastic, and controversial, changes would have bars and nightclubs close at midnight instead of 3:00 a.m. as the current closing time is now. In the proposed ordinance, bars and nightclubs would have to apply for a special permit to stay open until 3 a.m.

Business owners in Ybor City, the city's largest nightlife district, express concerns that the ordinance would have a negative impact on the city of Tampa, especially in Ybor City. Carrie West, who owns the MC Film Ybor gift shop in Ybor City, told WFTS:

This is going to be affecting everything in Tampa. I don't understand some of the bar owners in other areas like SoHo, International area, Fowler Avenue area, up in the other areas, but in Ybor City....This could actually kill Ybor City in a lot of aspects.

The proposed ordinance comes after a recent increase of violence in the hours after bars and nightclubs close, especially in and around Ybor City. Last year, there were two shootings at different nightclubs in Ybor City, and that has spurred city council members to push for a change.

The Tampa city council is expected to discuss the proposed ordinance on Dec. 5.

Stay tuned.

For more updates on what's going on in Florida and other political news and commentary from this author, click Subscribe or follow Kareem on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or email him your comments or questions.

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