FRANKFORT — Legislation that would allow people with concealed carry permits to bring firearms into bars and restaurants is on its way to the Kentucky House.

The state Senate passed the measure Thursday by a 30 to 4 vote. State Sen. John Schickel says he believes Senate Bill 60 is about the right to defend oneself. He told fellow senators that crime rates and gun-related accidents have fallen since concealed carry laws were established.

Schickel says there is a reason for gun possession in a bar.

“Now some have said that’s crazy, how could you, how could you Mr. President, how could you mix guns and alcohol, that’s very irresponsible,” Shickel says.

Actually, he argues, the opposite is true. 

“This law strictly forbids anyone to consume alcohol while they have a concealed carry weapon,” he says.

Bar owners can still choose to not allow concealed weapons in their establishments, says Schickel, a Union Republican.

One of the four “no” votes came from state Sen. Reggie Thomas, a Lexington Democrat.

“Anyone with a loaded gun can now feel entitled to come into a bar, no one is going to know that and one thing can lead to another,” Thomas says.

If the bill becomes law, Thomas predicts a spike in bar-related shootings in Kentucky.

Schickel remains optimistic the Kentucky House will also support the measure.

(Image via Shutterstock)