Prefiled bill to allow cops to carry weapons in restaurants with alcohol
A State Representative from Haughton has prefiled a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would allow law enforcement officers, whether on duty or off duty, to carry their gun into a restaurant that sells alcohol. Rep. Henry Burns says the mission of a cop is to protect and serve ALL the time, not just when they are in uniform.
"If a law enforcement officer was in a place like Applebee's right now with his gun, currently he would be breaking the law," Burns said.
Burns says if an officer goes to dinner with their family at a place like Chili's, it would be against the law for him or her to carry their gun inside.
He says that's what he's trying to change.
"I would feel safer, not only for me but for my family, knowing a law enforcement officer that was at an establishment could take what I call the ministry of intervention," Burns says. "The ability to stop someone who is trying to do harm to someone else."
Burns filed a similar piece of legislation that passed the House last year, but was never debated in the Senate.
He says an officer of the law should be able to have the protection of a weapon at all times.
"When you take on the task of being a law enforcement officer, you should be able to maintain that one tool that can assist you in maintaining, not only the safety of others, but the safety of yourself."
Opponents say guns should not be in places where people are drinking, especially if the off duty officer is drinking.