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It appears that people with concealed weapon permits in South Carolina will now have an easier time finding a place to have dinner. South Carolina is just a signature away from joining the vast majority of states that don’t prevent people with carry permits from bringing their personal defensive firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol.  The legislation would, however, prohibit people legally carrying weapons from consuming alcohol in those establishments. Governor Nikki Haley seems likely to sign the bill, which passed the house with an overwhelming 90 to 18 majority . . .


The House’s 90-18 vote Thursday sends the bill to Gov. Nikki Haley, who says she’ll sign any gun bill that doesn’t restrict rights.

As shown on the map above, nearly all states allow permit holders to carry weapons in restaurants. South Carolina is one of the last holdouts, with only Louisiana and North Dakota still prohibiting the practice. Restaurant carry passed the Louisiana House 64-24 last year.

In an amusing nod to federalism and the vagaries of legislative action, Montana only allows restaurant carry if the firearm is carried openly; Alaska and Arizona only allow the practice if the firearm is concealed.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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    • Yeah, this always irks me when I see these color coded maps. Makes it look like NJ is firearms friendly when it’s green…

      People typically don’t realize that NJ law specifically states “Everything to do with firearms ownership and usage is illegal, EXCEPT x, y, and z.” Most (all?) other states list the things you can’t do with firearms. NJ lists the few things you can do with them.

      • No doubt. NJ has just over 1200 non leo carry permits issued. Considering the size of our population that covers the pols and their buddies. The rest of us are hosed as we lowly peons have to show justifiable need. Better defined as shot dead in order to qualify. Hell our process for foid cards is more involved than the process for ccw in many states.

  1. Its a bit tricky in Michigan. You can carry in a restaurant as long as that business does not make more than 50% of its income off of alcohol sales.

    • Which is always an iffy subject whenever I discuss it with LEO….how are we to know where a business gets the majority of its income? Especially with the markup on alcohol….

      The general consensus I’ve gotten from some folks I know in state, county, local police is two-fold: 1) don’t sit in the “bar section” of a restaurant and you’ll generally be OK and 2) concealed is concealed….

    • I really hate these kinds of regulations. How in the world are you privy to such information? Excuse me sir, I would like to eat at your restaurant but am legally bound from doing so while exercising my constitutional right to armed self defense based on your finances. May I please have a copy of your most recent tax return to validate my ability to eat here?

      • In Texas the 51% establishments, i.e. bars, have to post a sign, because carry is not allowed in the 51% businesses. So we have the signs, and also generally you are ok in a restaurant that serves booze, but not a bar that serves food.

        • Yeah…..not so much in Michigan. We pretty much have to go with the “if you think it’s a restaurant it’s OK, if you think it’s a bar stay out” gut feeling. Signs would actually be nice in this case.

          And if you really want to have fun (i.e. be the test case) according to an MSP opinion you can open carry into any of the banned concealed carry places. The CPL law states that a CPL holder is prohibited from carrying CONCEALED in the listed places….

          I just moved to Ohio, as far as I can tell from the various intertubez sources their civilian disarmament pistol free zones are the same as Michigan’s with the notable exception that the way I read it carrying in a bar is OK as long as you’re not drinking.

        • Would be a moot point in Virginia , there are no restaurants that derive 51% of their income from alcohol. That makes it a bar, and since those are llegal here, your liquor license will be yanked. Silver lining- it’s an incentive for drinking establishments to keep the food quality from being too crappy, so at least that’s something.

          Here, you can OC, but not concealed carry and have a drink, courtesy of the “OMG, Wild West!!!11!!” people who think CCers are itching to ventilate somebody.

        • I hate the 51% rule, it’s so stupid!

          I’m usually the designated driver, but I can’t be the designated armed person because of the 51% law. I have to leave my pistol in the truck to go in the bar, but once I leave the bar I’m OK to put my pistol back on, how does that make any sense?

          If I’m not drinking, why I can’t I carrying in a bar? I hope that law goes away, and soon.

        • Bleh. I hate all of the laws, regardless of whether it’s 51% or whatever. Remove all of the prohibitions so that businesses can decide for themselves what they want their rules to be (i.e. true Constitutional Carry).

        • That’s bad advice. It doesn’t matter if you sit at the “bar” area in Michigan or not. If you are in doubt, you can legally open carry in a “bar” as long as you have a concealed pistol license.

        • Same here in WA, but it’s written in a more roundabout way:

          “That portion of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits to persons under twenty-one years of age”

          They are required to post the “no minors” sign if that’s the case. They are not, however, required to post a “no guns” sign (though many still do) – you’re supposed to know that “no minors” translates to no guns.

        • @Jared:

          I know there’s an MSP opinion stating just that, but has it ever been tried in court? I’ve searched a couple of times over the years and couldn’t find anything….

    • If I go to a restaurant for lunch on Tuesday instead of dinner on Friday night, could I argue that they don’t make 50% on that day?
      Do they actually report and post these numbers so that a LEO knows what places you can and which you cannot carry?
      I suppose they calculate for an annual tally and then have to post “the sign”. Anyone know the real mechanism used to enforce?

    • Same with Texas, although the business must post an official “51%” sign notifying patrons that they do indeed derive more than half their revenue from the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption.

      It’s still illegal to be “intoxicated”, as legally defined, while carrying. So I don’t see what the big deal is. Let people carry in full fledged bars, I say. We don’t ban driving to or from bars, after all. We just ban driving while intoxicated.

  2. I object to Maryland being green on this list. Businesses don’t even need to think about whether carry is banned in a restaurant, because its virtually banned period. Carry is only available to a select few like delegates, prosecutors, law enforcement, and a handful of business owners – and who is going to ban them from eating at a restaurant without their personal protection?

  3. Actually this new law has other elements that I find more useful, it abolishes the 8 hour minimum classroom time for CCW classes, allowing instructors to train how they see fit, and it allows firearms to be carried anywhere in a vehicle instead of just the glove compartment or console.

    Gov. Nikki Haley is for the most part a RINO, who tripled the Medicare rolls in SC while all the time saying she would not expand Medicare, but she has so far been as gun friendly as you can hope any politician to be.

    • How is Nikki Haley a RINO, beyond the Medicare example you cited? Not doubting you – just an honest question from someone who lives nowhere near SC. All I hear about her comes mostly from the mainstream media (blarg!) and whatever little blurb might pop up on social media or a blog like this one. Generally, I had thought that she was doing a pretty good job as governor.

      • Do some research on her, she is a big govt big spending crony capitalist. She has placed incompetent clowns in her administration as political payback, blown up the highway budget, exploded Medicare, allowed EVERY SC CITIZENS TAX INFO TO BE STOLEN, about the only issue she is consistent on is RKBA. Once again, you need to do your diligence on these politicians, and dont let a few soundbites or blurbs on a blog dictate your opinions. Remember, Karl Rove promised Romney was a winner.

        • Crony capitalist sounds like a textbook Republican to me. I mean, Reagan was pretty big on govt spending, was he a RINO also?

          At this point, if you listen to some people, 99% of the Republican party are RINOs. Me thinks that the term has sort of lost its meaning. I mean, by definition, “proper Republican” is whatever is mainstream in the party. If your complaint is that they are not conservative enough, then say so.

  4. My Bar & Grill in town has a No Firearms Permitted on the front door. So I just ignore it? As the LGS in town, everyone expects me to be carrying.

    • The sign may or may not have force of law behind it. It depends on where you live.

      If it does not have force of law, carry anyway–the worst they can do is ask you to leave. If it DOES have force of law, leave your gun in the car–you can and will be arrested if caught.

  5. Food and guns don’t mixed, after a steak and baked potato people become unruly heathens!

    Oh god, someone, please think of the children!

  6. North Dakota Has had Restaurant Carry since about 8/1/13. Their law changed. You can carry in a restaurant but not in the bar area of that restaurant. New Law Below. New Mexico only allows carry in places that sell beer and wine. No Hard Liquor Places.

    62.1-02-04. Possession of Firearm or Dangerous Weapon in Liquor Establishment or Gaming Site Prohibited –
    1. An individual who enters or remains in that part of the establishment that is set aside for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages or used as a gaming site at which bingo is the primary gaming activity while in the possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
    2. This section does not apply to:
    f. The restaurant part of an establishment if an individual under twenty – one years of age is
    not prohibited in that part of the establishment.

  7. Now if they’ll just get rid of that training requirement to honor out of state permits, maybe we citizens of Georgia can visit the state. I can see it out of my office window in Savannah. I don’t visit, spend money, etc. because I can’t carry there.

      • Georgia provides reciprocity to all states who provide it to them. It’s a SC issue, not a Georgia one.

    • Easy fix get a FL out of state permit. I live in SC but my grandparents and lot of family live in Mobile, and Birmingham so I cannot carry there either. After a few trips where I couldn’t carry through GA and AL I just got another permit. I have friends in Augusta and Savannah too that I go and see occasionally really needed that extra permit.

  8. Why is Hawaii green??

    “In an exceptional case, when the applicant shows reason to fear injury to his person or property, the respective chief of police may grant a license to carry a concealed firearm on his person within the county where the license is granted to a U.S. citizen or duly accredited official representative of a foreign nation age 21 or older.”

    The map is misleading. Concealed carry in many of the green states is “allowed” in restaurants only if one passes the insurmountable bar of getting a concealed carry permit in the first place.

  9. Yeah, but won’t all the “public” be killed now? SC won’t have “PUBLIC SAFETY”, oh well, Randy

  10. I agree with several of the other people about the lack of specificity in the nicely colored map.

    OK, so we here in Wyoming have “Constitutional Carry.” We’re supposedly one of the most pro-RKBA states in the nation, with the highest rate of gun ownership on a per-household basis, etc, etc.

    Don’t get caught in a bar with a weapon. Matter of fact, don’t get caught coming out of a bar packing, or coming out of a package store while packing.

    While Wyoming is rather pro-RKBA, get alcohol into the legislative mix and idiots positively come boiling out of the woodwork. In the Rocky Mountain states, there’s still a strong leftover mix of busybody women from the Prohibition era and the Womens’ Christian Temperance Union going on at a state and local level. I’m not talking the sort of religious arguments against bars that you get in Utah, southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming. I’m talking a bunch of harrumphing female busybodies and pecksniffs and professional nags, usually protestant in cohort, hectoring the legislature to “do something” about the demon drink – just like 90+ years ago.

    They come out of the woodwork when a microbrewery wants to start up. They come out of the woodwork when a new liquor license is to be issued (rather than an existing one changing hands), they come out of the woodwork whenever the issue of drunk driving deaths comes up, etc.

    These people are the reason why we have a “51% rule” (like I’m going to ask to examine a restaurant’s books before I go inside while packing?) on our CCW statutes. Anything having to do with booze and these idiots pack the legislature.

    • Doesn’t Wyoming constitutional-carry only apply to Wyoming residents? I thought I’d read that somewhere, and, if so… not cool, Wyoming, not cool.

      • Indeed, our “Constitutional carry” provision does require you to be a Wyoming resident, mostly because the unlicensed carry provision was a mere amendment to the original CCW statute as follows:

        “(iv) The person does not possess a permit issued under this section, but otherwise meets the requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(i) through (vi), (viii) and (ix) of this section and possession of the firearm by the person is not otherwise unlawful.”

        That one addition says “OK, you meet all the conditions in the law, but you don’t have the permit, you’re OK.” But, there’s one more wrinkle:

        “(i) Is a resident of the United States and has been a resident of Wyoming for not less than six (6) months prior to filing the application. The Wyoming residency requirements of this paragraph do not apply to any person who holds a valid permit authorizing him to carry a concealed firearm authorized and issued by a governmental agency or entity in another state that recognizes Wyoming permits and is a valid statewide permit”

        So if you have a permit from any other state, you can carry in Wyoming without a Wyoming permit.

  11. Great news, but the problem is with wording in articles like this…”The legislation would, however, prohibit people legally carrying weapons from consuming alcohol in those establishments” , the wording yields to the permit/privilege mindset of the 2nd Amendment. If the 2A has any chance of remaining intact, we need to be moving the language back to “shall not be infringed”…aka a right, and not a privilege.

  12. Why are people making these maps more complicated than they need to?

    New Jersey Maryland and Hawaii do have provisions to issue permits. It does not matter if they do or not issue permits. The point of the map is to show that if you are lawfully able to carry then you can carry into a restaurant.

    Map accuracy should not be preempted by political statements.

    • I would contend that having a standard no one except for the politically connected is a political statement, thereby falsely representing said ability to carry in said locations.

      • That’s still political nonsense. Armored car drivers in NJ have carry licenses. Can they not stop at an Applebee’s for lunch?

        Also, a lot of people on Calguns have california carry licenses. Some sheriffs are very friendly, they can certainly carry into these establishments.

        • True the guards have permits. However those permits are restricted to carrying while on duty only. I can only comment about NJ specifically as its where I live. Think about what you said. While at a glance yes NJ has a carry policy, but when in a state that has about 1 million gun owners and only 1200 or so people have permits, how is it not politics. Keep in mind that accirding to NJ gun laws all guns are illegal. Then they are kind enough to allow us some severely limited exceptions. So again if politically connected, retired leo, armored guards and a few tokens. Seems like politics to me.

        • I agree, but to say NJ doesn’t allow for restaurant carry is misleading. Unless NJ has a law that forbids even those with carry permits from carrying into restaurants, then it’s a “green state”. That’s why the maps at are respectable… Mike and John don’t play political games.

          Pennsylvania is green because restaurant carry is not off limits to permit holders just an NJ is green because restaurant carry is not off limits to permit holders. Whether the permits are may or shall issue is another story…. And they have other colored maps that reflect that.

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