Gun-toting permitted in bars

Concealed weapons permit holders could carry their guns into restaurants that serve alcohol under a bill that’s headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk.

The Louisiana Senate voted 37-2 for the House-passed measure, giving it final legislative passage.

House Bill 72 would also allow off-duty law enforcement officers to carry weapons into place where alcohol is sold.

“This would allow concerned carry permit holders to possess their weapon in a restaurant even though alcohol may be sold,” said state Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe.

Under current law, no person can possess a firearm while on the premises of an alcoholic beverage outlet. There is an exception for law enforcement officers if they are acting in the performance of their official duties. The legislation allows officers to carry without being on the job but gives the sheriff or chief law enforcement officer the right to establish policies to the contrary.