Monday, June 11, 2012

GRNC Ratchets Up The Pressure Over Restaurant Carry

Grass Roots North Carolina is ratcheting up the pressure on the Republican leaders of the North Carolina State Senate to keep their promise to bring HB 111 - the restaurant carry bill - to the floor of the Senate. They are accusing Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Rules Committee Chair Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) of referring HB 111 to the Senate Finance Committee in an effort to kill it.
Expectant mother and Flying Biscuit Café manager Danielle Watson was recently slashed to death at the restaurant she managed by an ex-con just released from prison. On the day she was to be married, she was instead buried. On the same weekend, also in Charlotte, restaurant worker Ed Rosen was murdered during a robbery by two thugs who remain at large. Elsewhere, eastern North Carolina has suffered a series of armed restaurant robberies, including two in which employees were herded into freezers where they could easily have been slaughtered.


Current law disarms not only restaurant patrons, but also restaurant workers. Except for the "owner or lessee" of the establishment, patrons and workers alike are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms for self-protection at any restaurant which serves alcohol, regardless of the fact that concealed handgun permit-holders are already prohibited from imbibing. Fortunately, HB 111 could give victims means to protect themselves and their families; it could give women going to or from restaurants means to defend against rape and murder.


Although the bill passed the House last year and passed the Senate Judiciary II Committee last week, Republican Senate President Pro Tem PHIL BERGER and Rules Chair TOM APODACA sent HB 111 to the Finance Committee to die. You see, if it doesn't get a floor vote in the Senate and a concurrence vote in the House by the time the legislature adjourns - likely next week - HB 111, like Danielle Watson, will be D.O.A.


In a March GRNC meeting with Berger staffers GRANT BROOKS and SKYLAR ADAMS, Berger's staff promised they would NOT re-refer HB 111 to another committee after it passed in the judiciary committee - that they would not kill the bill by "running the clock," a legislative tactic by which politicians kill bills without going on record.

So why is Sen. Berger reneging on his pledge? Because, as Tom Apodaca reportedly admitted, Republicans are afraid that Democrats will come after them using misleading ads about "guns in bars." Translated...

While restaurant workers like Danielle Watson are dying, Republican leaders are hiding under their desks, afraid to act because they might get bad press!


GRNC has tried to negotiate, and gun owners have exercised admirable restraint. But now the gloves have to come off: If YOU don't act immediately, restaurant carry will die.

You can find the action items of the Alert here. It includes a request to call the offices of Berger and Apodaca, to send an email to all the Republican senators, and a Twitter engine to send out Tweets pushing the bill.

Even if you do not live in North Carolina, you can help by using the Twitter engine and by sending the email. You can rewrite the email to emphasize that you won't spend your tourist dollars - which is a big business in this state - in a place which doesn't allow you to protect yourself while eating.

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