http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/mar/10/new-guns--bars-bill-begins-moving-tennessee-legisl/ Proposal expands right to firearms in more places, requires signs to opt out By Richard Locker NASHVILLE -- A new guns-in-bars bill began moving in the legislature Wednesday in an attempt to override a court ruling last fall that nullified a similar law approved last year. The court decision blocked handgun-carry permit holders from going armed into places serving alcohol. Poll.Should state legislators attempt to override a court ruling that blocked handgun-carry permit holders from going armed into places serving alcohol? Yes . No . "We don't know what the courts are going to do. So we would rather come back and make it clear for the permit holder where he can carry and not carry," said Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, the bill's House sponsor. The bill won easy approval of a House subcommittee Wednesday over the objections of the Tennessee Hospitality Association that it will open every commercial establishment that serves alcoholic beverages to guns unless their owners post large signs at every entrance to say guns are banned. "The bill last year allowed carrying in places that serve food and alcohol," said Dan Haskell, the association's general counsel. "This bill allows carrying of weapons in every restaurant, every bar, every roadhouse in the state. It's a lot larger bill than what (the legislature) passed last year. "This bill would require posting at every door, and in the hospitality industry, the last thing we want to have to do is post notices about guns at the door. It doesn't seem hospitable to us." Under questioning from committee members, Todd agreed that the new bill requires large establishments such as Nashville's sprawling Opryland Resort and Convention Center to post a sign bearing a handgun with a red circle and slash over it at every entrance if the owners want to ban guns. The committee's approval is the first of several steps required for the bill's passage. Todd said he will take it to the full House Judiciary Committee next week, and his Senate co-sponsor, Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, plans to begin moving it there. But until it passes, Tennessee's 270,000 handgun-carry permit holders, and millions more in other states whose permits are recognized by Tennessee reciprocity agreements, are banned from carrying their weapons in places serving alcohol. After years of failed efforts by gun advocates, the legislature approved a more-limited law last year allowing permit holders to go armed into restaurants serving alcohol as long as they are not consuming alcohol themselves. But a Davidson County judge declared the law unconstitutionally vague on Nov. 20. The state is appealing that ruling, and some legislators wanted to wait on the case to work its way through the court system. But Todd said the legislative branch, not the courts, needs to settle the issue. "This bill is very clear," Told told the subcommittee. "(Opponents) are not going to be happy with any bill. We cleared up the posting requirements that were vague. "These are responsible gun holders in the state. No matter how long you wait, you're not going to please the opponents of this bill."