CCW Weekend: Lay Off The Sauce If You’re Carrying
By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
In some states, you can’t be served alcohol if you are lawfully carrying a pistol. In some states, you can’t even be in a bar if you’re carrying, unless it happens to be a bar and grill and/or sports bar type place that’s basically a restaurant but keeps bar hours. In other states, the law is a little more nebulous; statutes will state that a person can’t be intoxicated with firearms but doesn’t say you can’t have a few.
You probably shouldn’t be drinking at all if you’re carrying. Granted, most of the people who read this are adults (though some of the folks in the comments section may be an exception; you know who you are!) and can make their own decisions. But this is a no-brainer.
They tell you the same thing in any hunter’s safety course. Don’t drink and hit the field. After shooting hours and you have something to celebrate – or have to take the sting out of a defeat – then it’s okay, so long as your shotgun, rifle or what-have-you has been unloaded and put away.
It’s not exactly a secret that disinhibition is an effect of alcohol consumption. It sets in bit-by-bit; after a few, you start thinking that maybe people really would like to hear “Sweet Home Alabama” for the 10th time that night and the 750,000th time in their lifetime already. (Look, it’s overplayed; we could stand to hear their deeper cuts by now, some of which are actually pretty good.) After one’s BAC climbs into the double digits, a person can go from being stupid-but-merely-annoying to dangerously stupid.
A recent incident demonstrates many small lessons writ large. One Andrew Webler-Norman, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal, went to a bowling alley to roll a few frames on the evening of Mar. 1, but ended up putting a toe over the line and entered a world of pain. While bowling, Webler-Norman adjusted his pistol and holster, causing a discharge that struck his friend in the foot.
The friend went to the hospital. Webler-Norman went to jail, charged with negligent assault, possessing a firearm in a prohibited establishment, using a weapon while intoxicated, discharging a firearm in or near a prohibited location (all misdemeanors) and tampering with evidence, a felony.
Webler-Norman has a carry permit and – presuming he did commit all those actions – should have known better or left the gun at home. Nothing wrong with having a few oat sodas and rolling a few but not if you’re packing. Granted, he is innocent until proven guilty, but it sure don’t look good. We’re also not holding out hope for the tape deck or the Creedence.
There are other examples, of course.
For instance, according to CBS Boston, one Jason Root of Woburn, Mass., was arrested after rear-ending another motorist on the freeway and attempted to run the other motorist, who gave his name as “Bryan,” off the road. Root exited the vehicle, and was alleged to have pulled a gun on Bryan. Bryan wisely gunned it and made good an escape while calling the cops.
Root, who had a license to carry, was field-tested, which he failed, and booked on suspicion of DUI along with everything else you can imagine.
Granted, most people don’t need to be told these things. This also isn’t to say that disaster will ensue if you have one beer with dinner or lunch while carrying, and plenty of people have chosen to do some pretty awful things whilst stone cold sober.
Instead, this is to say that drinking while carrying is generally a bad idea and that we really don’t have to hear “Sweet Home Alabama” quite so often.
Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.