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Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs bill allowing concealed guns in bars

July 1, 2011 |  2:11 pm

Ohio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Thursday signed a bill into law that gun owners will probably love, especially those who have permits that afford them the luxury of having concealed weapons.

The Republican, who was last seen on the links with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, approved the measure that allows gun owners in the Buckeye State to bring their concealed weapons into establishments that serve alcohol, as well as into licensed establishments including shopping malls, nightclubs and sporting venues.

Does this mean that Pittsburgh Steelers receivers should avoid doing a version of the Lambeau Leap into the Dawg Pound at a Cleveland Browns game? Fortunately no. Businesses can prevent patrons from bringing their sidearms for safety reasons.

One detail about Ohio bars and the new law: yes, if you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and the saloon does not bar its customers from packing heat, you are not allowed to consume any booze if you are carrying that .45. Likewise, you can't be under the influence of drugs, druggie.

But you can play darts, sing karaoke, and debate the debt ceiling all you want in that bar as long as you keep ordering Shirley Temples.

When the bill passed the Ohio Senate in April, the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote in its editorial that it "was not entirely a surprise given the upper house's longstanding tradition of kowtowing to the handgun lobby."

Although Richard Mason of the Ohio Restaurant Assn. pleaded in a letter to the House committee chairman that they "simply feel that alcohol and guns are not a good mix," the bill went through, putting the burden on bartenders and waitresses to police their establishments from gun-totin' patrons who might be breaking the new law. Perhaps they will be packing heat too.

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-- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Andrew Malcolm is on vacation

Photo: President Obama, center and House Speaker John Boehner, right, play on the first hole with Ohio Gov. John Kasich during a game on June 18.   Credit: Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

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