The Washington Post reports that today is the first day a new law goes into effect in Virginia. Effective July 1, 2010, carriers of concealed weapons will be able to go into establishments that serve alcohol — that is, as long as they have a valid permit and, more importantly, they don’t drink!
Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine wisely vetoed previous efforts to make this legal. His successor, however, apparently had fewer qualms about the reasonableness of such a ban. Enacted earlier this year, the legislation signed by Governor Bob McDonnell takes effect today.
The Post reports that, “About 300 gun rights supporters plan to celebrate Thursday night by visiting restaurants that serve alcohol while carrying their weapons.” While I had no plans to cross the state line from DC into Virginia today, one wonders if simply “visiting” these establishments will satisfy their desire to “celebrate,” or if a few might be tempted to raise a glass and toast their new-found right? And besides — if the weapon is “concealed,” how will a waiter or bartender know if they’re packing heat? Is it the establishment’s responsibility not to serve such folks if they see an unusually large bulge where you wouldn’t expect to see one, or is this law enforced by the honor system?
I think I’ll stay home.