Correction – New law doesn’t apply to Square Pub
Editor’s note: The initial reporting on House Bill 60 was incorrect. While Square Pub was quoted accurately, the premise behind the questions was not accurate. For the most up to date information, click here.
Another Decatur bar has announced that it will not allow guns on its premises in response to a bill that expands the rights of gun owners.
Last week, the Thinking Man Tavern made a public statement in response to House Bill 60, the so-called “guns everywhere bill.” The new law allows licensed gun owners to carry in places like churches and bars, unless they are specifically banned by the owners.
This week the Square Pub in Decatur joined Thinking Man in telling patrons that guns are not welcome.
Jason Wiles, the owner of Square Pub, sent the following statement to Decaturish on April 30.
“I’d be glad to be vocal about this. We will very vehemently say NO to guns in our bar. If lawmakers and the governor think this is such a great idea, why did they exclude their places of work from the bill but not mine? As a veteran and I am pro gun ownership. I have several myself, but c’mon, this is absurd. Every sane person realizes guns and alcohol don’t mix. It’s not the responsible gun owner I am worried about. I get the argument that they make places safer in case something terrible happens. It’s the nut bag, cop wannabes longing to be a hero who go out trolling for problems and an opportunity to save the day. That scenario coupled with the 947 other scenarios I am not even thinking about make this decision a no brainer. I understand people’s natural reaction is often to ‘do something’ in the face of terrible events like Sandy Hook. The problem is their reactions tend to be visceral and over the top. My opinion is terrible events like school shootings are often a product of mental illness. Outlawing guns will not fix this and neither will putting more guns in the hands of responsible people in more places.
“All that being said, I can’t say enough that the decision for The Square Pub about whether or not to allow guns in our bar has nothing to do with politics or constitutional rights. It is a simple matter of common sense and safety. Safety for our customers and safety for our staff. We will not allow guns in our bar because guns and alcohol don’t mix. Period.”
He added, “I’m all for it as long as we are also bringing back hitching posts, gambling on the first floor, and prostitutes in our upstairs rooms.”
Few other bars have responded to the question of whether guns would be allowed. Darren Comer, co-owner of The Marlay House, sent this message last week:
“My initial take is that state leadership (in an election year) has created this situation forcing establishments like ourselves to now make a public safety related and politically polarizing decision. The Marlay owners will have to meet and decide collectively.”
Dano Kirk, owner of the Kirkyard Public House in Kirkwood, told Decaturish that he not would expressly forbid patrons to bring guns into his bar.