Guns + bars = Confusion

2010-09-13T05:05:00Z 2010-09-13T05:29:06Z Guns + bars = ConfusionLARRY HENDRICKS Assistant City Editor Arizona Daily Sun
September 13, 2010 5:05 am  • 

Is it legal or illegal to carry a firearm into a bar or restaurant in Arizona that has a liquor license? Yes and no -- sometimes.

Flagstaff police officials say confusion still exists about new gun laws that went into effect last year. They're out to remind residents and bar and restaurant owners who have liquor licenses about what the new laws do and do not allow.

The answer is twofold:

-- If you have a concealed carry weapons permit, you may legally enter with a firearm into a bar or restaurant that has a liquor license -- unless the bar or restaurant has a properly posted sign that prohibits it.

-- If you carry a concealed weapon without a permit (as allowed by the new law), you are not allowed to carry a firearm into bars or restaurants that sell liquor -- even if there is no sign prohibiting it.

The two laws in question are ARS 4-229, and ARS 13-3102, said Sgt. James Jackson of the Flagstaff Police Department.

ARS 4-229, governs the actions of a gun owner entering a bar or restaurant that has a liquor license.

ARS 13-3102 now allows Arizona residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Jackson said police have had regular interaction with gun owners and liquor license owners who are not entirely familiar with, or misinformed about, the state's new laws, which have resulted in criminal infractions.

"We want to cut down on the confusion out there," Jackson said.


To that end, police officials have directed officers, like Rebecca Kiener, to meet with liquor license holders on their beats and familiarize them with the new requirements outlined in the law, Jackson added.

Kiener said the confusion by liquor license holders centers on signage.

The law requires a licensee to post a sign prohibiting firearms if no firearms are wanted in the establishment, she said. License holders do not need to post a sign if they do not wish to post one.

Kiener also said that if a sign is not posted properly -- near the liquor license, on the correct paper, etc. -- a gun owner with a CCW permit may still legally enter the premises of an establishment.

For instance, if a license holder posts a "no firearms" sign at the front door, but the liquor license is behind the bar, a gun owner with a CCW can enter legally with his weapon, Kiener said.

The only option a license holder would have to get the armed gun owner out of the establishment would be to verbally refuse service, Kiener said. At that point, the license holder could call police and ask for trespassing laws to be enforced if the gun owner does not agree to leave.


Drew Gruver, part-owner at San Felipe's Coastal Cantina, said he posted a "no firearms" sign in his establishment to help his customers feel more comfortable and safe. He also made sure that the signage is in compliance with the law so that anybody coming into San Felipe's with a firearm would be doing so illegally.

"If we catch them in here with a firearm, we can call police," Gruver said, adding that he has not had any incidents requiring a call to police.

He also said that, to his knowledge, a majority of liquor license holders in Flagstaff have decided to post "no firearms" signs.

Kiener said that armed CCW permit holders may still enter an establishment legally for the purpose of confirming whether a license holder has properly posted "no firearms" signage. Once the gun owner has confirmed a valid "no firearms" requirement, he or she must then leave the premises.

People who carry concealed weapons without a permit, which is now legal, may not enter armed into an establishment with a liquor license, whether or not there is a properly posted "no firearms" sign, Kiener said.

Larry Hendricks can be reached at 556-2262 or

On the Web

For the complete language of ARS 4-229 and ARS 13-3102, visit

For more information about local enforcement of the new gun laws, contact Sgt. James Jackson at 556-2300.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(21) Comments

  1. iamazomB
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    iamazomB - September 22, 2010 1:52 pm
    showshoe, but isnt once enough?
  2. Flaglifer
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    Flaglifer - September 22, 2010 1:19 pm
    Showshoe It's amazing how often those who claim disasters for allowing constitutional rights are wrong.
  3. iamazomB
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    iamazomB - September 22, 2010 12:57 pm
    i understand that people in arizona love their guns, but come on really? guns+alcohol+easily offended intoxicant=x. solve for x
  4. Snowshoe Trekker
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    Snowshoe Trekker - September 21, 2010 3:29 pm
    Vermont and Alaska have allowed gun owners to carry guns into bars for years and also to carry without a CCW. And yet, the doomsday/wild west scenarios painted by those opposed to such allowances have yet to unfold.
  5. Joe T
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    Joe T - September 20, 2010 2:37 am
    do not go drink in bars with a gun, but if you do, you better check with the person tending the bar or you should be thrown in jail, concealed permit or not!
  6. flagwagger
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    flagwagger - September 16, 2010 7:26 am
    For anyone that actually spends their time while they're out at a bar worrying if someone else in the bar might have a gun, the solution seems simple; Don't go to bars. Your odds of being killed by one of your fellow bar customers on your drive home are a thousand times higher than they are that one of them will randomly shoot you while you're at the bar. The anti-gun lobby needs to find a new soap-box...
  7. Maunawili
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    Maunawili - September 15, 2010 7:57 pm
    I've gotten through life safely for 50+ years unarmed. Arizona laws baffle me, though. How is a bartender to know whether a patron is carrying a CONCEALED weapon? I'll patronize places that prohibit guns, thank you, whether that keeps me safe or not. Better yet, I'll stay home!
  8. Flaglifer
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    Flaglifer - September 15, 2010 4:08 pm
    JM I agree. And there are laws that say you can't carry a gun concealed or not in a bar and drink. How do you feel about being in a bar with a drunk who has a knife or who drives? More people are killed by drunk drivers than by guns. If people are so afraid of guns move to states or countries that prohibit them. Citizens of Mexico are not allowed to have guns and look how safe they are.
  9. Flaglifer
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    Flaglifer - September 15, 2010 4:03 pm
    roflcopter It's as enforceable as any other law. If you get caught drinking in a bar with a gun you can be arrested for a felony. If you don't believe me ask the police.
  10. JMStrunk
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    JMStrunk - September 14, 2010 5:21 pm
    I only go to bars that don't allow guns. I don't want some drunk crazy to have an attack of paranoia, and start shooting a gun off while under the influence of alcohol thinking he/she's saving lives, then hitting an innocent. Guns + Alcohol = Tragedy. You can't drive drunk. You shouldn't carry a gun drunk.
  11. roflcopter
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    roflcopter - September 14, 2010 3:05 pm
    Flaglifer said: One point not mentioned in the article is those who carry guns into bars where allowed are not allowed to consume alcohol."

    This is unenforcable and you know it.
  12. FreedomLuvR
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    FreedomLuvR - September 14, 2010 12:48 pm
    Flaglifer said: "I felt safe in Flagstaff too, until one of my friends was shot in the head by someone who wanted to be on America's most wanted list. BTW he was captured by a citizen who held a gun on him."

    Can you provide some objective proof that this incident actually took place? Just because such an incident may have occurred, is it rational for everyone to become afraid because of it?
  13. Flaglifer
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    Flaglifer - September 14, 2010 12:12 pm
    I felt safe in Flagstaff too, until one of my friends was shot in the head by someone who wanted to be on America's most wanted list. BTW he was captured by a citizen who held a gun on him. One point not mentioned in the article is those who carry guns into bars where allowed are not allowed to consume alcohol.
  14. FreedomLuvR
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    FreedomLuvR - September 14, 2010 8:54 am
    I don't support legislation preventing the law abiding from carrying a gun, just as I support the idea of a private business being able to prohibit guns. I do however believe in liability for those who collaterally kill or injure others when employing a firearm. That's basic responsibility, you own the bullet from the chamber to the place it stops. So for those who want to protect themselves (and think they can protect others), they should carry a liability bond for their own financial safety.
  15. FreedomLuvR
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    FreedomLuvR - September 14, 2010 8:45 am
    The smell of fear is heavy in these comments. I think there's a correlation between how insecure/unsafe a person feels generally and how much they value carrying a gun in public. I own several guns and enjoy shooting, but I've never felt less safe when going about my daily business because I wasn't carrying. And, being an experienced shooter, I'm not all that confident of some strangers ability to assess a dangerous situation, respond appropriately, and "protect" me.
  16. Obviousman
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    Obviousman - September 13, 2010 7:03 pm
    I guess if the goal is to make complete idiots "feel" comfortable and safe, Drew Gruver has found the right recipe. However, any of his patrons (or potential patrons) with any intelligence will realize that Mr. Gruver has effectively posted a big sign at the entrance reading, "Dear criminal gang-banger: everyone in here is guaranteed to be defenseless. Welcome!" Since that makes me feel decidedly LESS comfortable and safe, I believe I will be patronizing Mr. Gruver's competitors.
  17. JohnC
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    JohnC - September 13, 2010 3:48 pm
    Actually if you want to know if an establishment is safe to patronize or not, you can check out, before ever setting foot into the place. If the owner has decided not to allow firearms on the property, I take my gun and my wallet elsewhere. I don't know why anyone would make a target of themself, by announcing to criminals that they are unarmed. It's not that wouldn't be caught dead in such a place, I just don't want be found dead outside of it either.
  18. AZMike
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    AZMike - September 13, 2010 11:24 am
    I have been a Concealed Carrying Arizona citizen for the past 10 years. I carry a weapon on a daily basis for my personal safety, the safety of my family, and the safety of others who happen to be in my vicinity. It is a right guaranteed by the US Constitution. The article just points out the ignorance of many business owners and their disregard for the safety of those who patronize their establishments. I would not feel safe in Mr. Gruver's restaurant knowing that any moment a criminal could burst through the door and terrorize patrons who have no means of self-defense. I will not be spending any money in his cantina, or anywhere else that prevents me from my Constitutional rights.

    As a citizen with a concealed handgun license, I:
    Have no felony convictions;
    Have never been convicted of domestic violence;
    Have no history of mental illness or drug addiction;
    Have passed a background check and have my fingerprints on file with the authorities;
    Have passed mandatory training in both the use of a firearm and applicable law.
  19. NatFlag
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    NatFlag - September 13, 2010 9:27 am
    If you carrying concealed no one should know that you are armed.

    Posting signs doesn't make a person safer. Felons don't pay attention to signs. I doubt drunk felons pay attention either.

    The only people obeying these signs are law abiding citizens who actually make us safer.
  20. stjoseph
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    stjoseph - September 13, 2010 8:17 am
    During the era of Wyatt Earp, all gun bearers checked their weaponry when visiting a township near his post of Marshall.

    Arizona Senator Russell K. Pearce, a former law enforcment ofcr of Arizona, wrote the Senate Bills which became ARS 4-229, and ARS 13-3102.
    In LA County, deputy sheriffs can not visit an establishment off duty which serves alcohol beverages.

    In Arizona, if you qualify to purchase a firearm, if you are 21 yrs, you may conceal it without any training, knowledge of laws etc.
  21. WCorvi
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    WCorvi - September 13, 2010 8:15 am
    WOW! No wonder our state has such an image.

    If there is no sign by the door, I don't go in. Now, I realize I have to go in to find OUT if I can go in. So does everyone else.

    I guess I have to call ahead for a reservation, and now ask for the 'non-guns' section.
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