When I lived in Virginia, and conceal carried, I was always frustrated by the fact that I could not carry anywhere alcohol is served. This includes not just bars, but any restaurant with a liquor license (every restaurant). I don’t drink, ever. There is a zero percent chance I would ever be intoxicated while carrying. Yet, I could not carry. In an odd wrinkle in the law, you were able to *open* carry, as long as you didn’t drink, but you could not conceal carry. Anyway, Virginia about a year ago changed the law, and permitted conceal carry at restaurants and bars. And what happened? Gun violence, dropped.
The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police at the newspaper’s request.
And overall, the crimes that occurred during the law’s first year were relatively minor, and few of the incidents appeared to involve gun owners with concealed-carry permits, the analysis found.
A total of 145 reported crimes with guns occurred inVirginia bars and restaurants in fiscal 2010-11, or eight fewer than the 153 incidents in fiscal 2009-10. State police track all murders, non-negligent manslaughters, aggravated assaults, forcible sex crimes and robberies in more than two dozen categories, including “bars/nightclubs” and “restaurants.”
As Glenn Reynolds noted:
In other words, exactly what carry advocates predicted, and exactly the opposite of what anti-gun folks predicted. Again.