House Bill 111, which would expand where Right-to-Carry permit holders may lawfully carry firearms for personal protection, passed Second Reading on Tuesday and then passed in the House of Representatives today on Third Reading. H 111 will now move to the state Senate for their consideration.
Introduced by state Representatives Mark Hilton (R-96), Jeff Barnhart (R-82), Fred Steen (R-76), and Kelly Hastings (R-110), H 111 would remove the prohibition on permit holders from carrying firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol. As introduced, it would have also completely removed the ability of local governments to prohibit the lawful carrying of firearms by permit holders into parks. Finally, it clarifies that permit holders may carry firearms for personal protection within the state parks system.
As previously reported, H 111 was amended in subcommittee with language to allow servers in restaurants to ask patrons who order an alcoholic beverage whether they are carrying a concealed firearm. This amendment was proposed by state Representative Debra Ross (D-38), one of the most virulently anti-gun legislators in the General Assembly. On Tuesday, state Representative Leo Daughtry (R-26) offered an amendment to strip the Ross Amendment from H 111. This amendment passed by a 72 to 46 vote, removing Ross’s “poison pill” language. Two additional amendments were offered on Tuesday that were designed to weaken provisions dealing with carrying in parks.
First, state Representative David Guice (R-113) introduced an amendment that would allow local governments to prohibit permit holders from carrying firearms onto certain “recreational facilities,” which are defined as playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools, and athletic facilities. Unfortunately, this amendment passed by a 70 to 48 vote. The NRA will work to remove this emotionally-based, anti-gun amendment from H 111 when it is taken up in the state Senate.
In addition to the Guice Amendment, state Representative Bill Faison (D-50) offered an amendment to weaken the provisions regarding the state parks system. That amendment failed by a 44 to 74 vote.
Today, state Representative Darren Jackson (D-39) introduced an amendment that would strip out the restaurant carry provisions entirely. That amendment failed, but at this time, we do not have a vote count.
H 111 is now headed to the state Senate, where the NRA will work to make a good bill even better by trying to remove the Guice Amendment. Please take a moment to contact your state Senator and urge him or her to work with the NRA to improve and pass H 111. Contact information for your state Senator or help identifying your state Senator can be found here.
To see how your state Representative voted on H 111, as well as on all of the amendments, click here.
If you are here in this State I urge you to tell your Senator how you feel about this!