Murrells Inlet and Garden City restaurant owners react to new concealed weapons law

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2014

  • Updated Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:51 am

Restaurants and bars in Murrells Inlet and Garden City may not be up in arms over the law recently signed by Gov. Nikki Haley that allows people to carry their concealed weapons into the eateries, but very few restaurants and bars are putting out the welcome signs.

In fact, early comments from bar/restaurant owners and managers suggest that the signs will be telling patrons to leave their guns outside.

“We have made it clear that guns are not welcome here, and we do not intend to change that,” said Bill Barber, general manager of Suck Bang Blow.

But Al Hitchcock, one of the owners of Drunken Jack’s, said his staff will go along with the law and not ask those with permits to keep their guns outside.

“We don’t expect our staff to have to frisk patrons,” he said, although the law strictly forbids such activity. “It might be different if we were primarily a bar or relied on our bar rather than our food.”

Hitchcock said things might be different if his restaurant stayed open past midnight and attracted more of a drinking crowd, but his patrons concentrate more on food than drink.

At the neighboring Dead Dog, the signs will be going up, said owner Charlie Campbell.

“We are opposed to CWP holders in the Dead Dog Saloon and will have appropriate signage prohibiting them,” wrote Campbell.

The Beaver Bar will not allow those with concealed weapons to bring their firearms into the facility, said owner Leslye Beaver.

“I’m pro gun. Buy as many as you want,” Beaver said. “But let me tell you what you’re not going to do with your gun, and that’s bring it into the Beaver Bar.”

She said her decision is based on insurance concerns.

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