Bill would allow guns to be carried in restaurants

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A Senate panel has advanced a bill intended to let people with concealed weapon permits carry their gun into restaurants.

The bill advanced Wednesday on a 3-0 vote allows permit holders to carry their concealed weapon into places that serve alcohol.

Gun rights advocates praised the bill as restoring citizens' rights.

The bill prevents people from drinking alcohol with a concealed gun. Anyone caught could face up to two years in prison.

Several people asked legislators to change that, saying they should be able to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner.

Republican Sen. Shane Massey of Edgefield says that would doom the bill's chances.

Anthony Roulette with the National Rifle Association says 45 other states allow some form of concealed weapons to be carried into restaurants.

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