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Guns in restaurants bill fails in Senate; second vote expected

A measure to allow guns in restaurants failed to get enough votes to pass the Senate on June 15.

The bill, S1114, failed by a vote of 14-14. It needed 16 votes to pass. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jack Harper, changed his vote from "yes" to "no" so that he could be on the prevailing side of the vote and, thereby, ask for the legislation to be reconsidered.

Immediately after the vote, the Republican from Surprise asked to reconsider the legislation, which was granted. A second vote on S1113 could be scheduled as soon as June 16.

The bill would allow people with concealed-weapons permits to carry guns into restaurants that sell alcohol for on-site consumption, unless the restaurant owner posts a sign at the entrances prohibiting the possession of weapons on the premises. Consuming alcohol while carrying a gun would be prohibited.

Restaurant owners who do not want guns on their premises can post signs to state that weapons are prohibited.

Supporters of the bill said they were missing the vote of Sen. John Nelson, a Glendale Republican, who was absent on the floor. Nelson had a family-related matter he needed to attend to, Harper said.

Republican senators Jay Tibshraeny of Chandler and Sen. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale, voted against the bill. Tibshraeny said he supports pro-gun legislation, yet he raised concerns about allowing guns in bars.

Allen said guns and alcohol don't mix.

"I just don't think it is wise public policy," she said.

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