Authorities, bar owner discourage gun carriers in bars - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Authorities, bar owner discourage gun carriers in bars

Col. Mark Shirley Col. Mark Shirley
Torry Williams Torry Williams

The new gun law that went into effect Tuesday, removes bars from the list of places where guns are prohibited. Individual bar owners can still decide to keep guns out of their businesses and that's what many law enforcers hope they do. 

Tory Williams, owner of Icons Bar and Grill, is one owner who will not permit gun carriers. 

"Oh no, no no no," Williams said. "There will only be one sheriff around these parts."

The Dougherty County Sheriff's office hopes others will follow suit.

"As the old saying goes," said Colonel Mark Shirley. "Alcohol and guns don't mix and I think that most nightclubs, bar owners will realize that and take action."

The law will allow Williams to carry his own weapon in his establishment. Allowing him to protect himself and customers if something going wrong.

"I feel safer, I feel like I can protect myself," Williams said. "I hope that I don't have to but in the event that I did, I feel like I would have that right."

One part of the law makes some law enforcers a little nervous. If they see someone with a gun, there's no way to know if that person is a legal gun owner. Officers can no longer ask someone to show their gun permit. 

"At that point most law enforcement agencies would do an F.I., field interrogation, take down the name, pertinent information," Shirley said.

Colonel Shirley says that overall the gun law changes won't have a major impact on the Sheriff's Office, and they'll carry on business as usual. 

For example, even if a bar does decide to allow gun carriers in, Shirley says the office will not have any more patrols designated for that area. Saying that responsibility falls upon that establishment's ownership.

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