Alcohol at Gun Ranges: How Is This Legal?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 29, 2015 3:58 PM

Let's drink some beers and fire some guns. Doesn't that sounds like a great idea?

Soon, Florida gun enthusiasts may be able to drink alcohol and shoot guns all in one place!

It's Not How It Sounds

Ron Perkins, owner of Volusia Top Gun, has petitioned the Daytona Beach Planning Board for permission to open a gun shop, shooting range, and restaurant and bar all in one. While this may sound like a crazy idea, it's actually not a novel one. Two other gun ranges, one in Oklahoma and one in Georgia, already have permission to serve alcohol.

If you're imagining holding a beer in one hand and a gun in the other, think again. To convince the Planning Board, Perkins promises several security features to prevents shootings while intoxicated:

  • Anybody who has drunk any alcohol within the last 24 hours cannot shoot a gun.
  • Customers can only have three drinks per visit.
  • If anybody in a group has drunk alcohol, nobody in the group can shoot a gun.

Anyone who wants to shoot must do so first before entering the restaurant and bar area to have a drink.

Carrying While Intoxicated?

We've heard of people being convicted of driving under the influence, but did you know that having a gun while intoxicated is also a crime? While many states don't have specific laws prohibiting carrying a gun while intoxicated, some do. The laws vary slightly among states:

  • Florida -- In Florida, you could go to jail for up to 60 days if you use firearm while under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances. Using a firearm can mean actually discharging the gun or just holding a loaded gun in your hand.
  • Virginia -- Even if you have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia, doing so while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drug is a class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, your concealed carry permit will be revoked, and you won't be able to apply for another one for five years. Also, you could spend up to 12 months in jail and pay a fine of $2,500.
  • Hawaii -- In Hawaii, you cannot own a gun if you are currently or have ever been under treatment for alcohol addiction. Massachusetts and Rhode Island also have a similar prohibition.
  • Arkansas -- If you are convicted of an alcohol-related crime in Arkansas, your firearm license will be revoked upon conviction.

To stay on the right side of the law, you have to shoot your gun first, then drink. Not the other way around.

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