To the Editor:
In regards to the article “Guns and alcohol do not mix,” published in the editorial (section) on Feb. 25, I would like to point out a few interesting facts. The law that allows an individual to legally carry a concealed firearm is intended for those with the training, be of legal age, have passed a background check, and have not entered an establishment that prohibits firearms on the premises. These establishments are to post a readable sign at the entrance of the business to inform a person of the policy concerning firearms on the premises. H.B. (48) allows concealed firearms on campus only if the college or university allows firearms on the campus. The law, as written now, allows for permit holders to have firearms in their vehicles or in the process of being secured and locked in the vehicle by their owner.
First, a person has to be 21 years of age to have a carry conceal license. In order to get this license, they would have to complete a training course provided by a certified instructor. Then there is the matter of a background check provided by the local sheriff, which must be passed before the license to carry is issued. It is highly unlikely a younger student at college would meet the requirements because of the age restriction. As to alcohol on campus, an individual has to be 21 to drink legally.
The incident referred to by Mr. Riegle was committed to by two underage persons drinking alcohol in a local business. One of these individuals was out of state and did not have a carry conceal license. This same individual made threats to a bartender when she refused to serve alcohol to him. The point is, both individuals were breaking the law. It wasn’t the gun, the alcohol, or the proposed law H.B. 48 that was the problem. It was the two individuals, not the gun or the alcohol, breaking a number of laws that was the problem.
A person needs to understand the facts and not make an opinion based entirely on headlines designed to grab your attention. Responsible firearm owners know alcohol, drugs, and even over-the-counter medications are not to be used while handling a firearm. This lesson is repeatedly stressed to individuals handling firearms. As for H.B. 48, the Second Amendment guarantees the right to defend ourselves. This bill increases the opportunities for individuals to exercise that right. The police cannot protect you 24/7. That is your responsibility.
— Gary L. Cooper