Grant Cunningham

Carrying Defensive Firearms while Drinking?

Grant Cunningham
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Should carrying a firearm and drinking alcohol be 100% mutually exclusive? Rob Pincus and PDN Contributor Grant Cunningham approach this topic from a few different perspectives, including what common sense tells us to do and what state and local laws permit or forbid. An analogy is made between drinking while driving and drinking while carrying a firearm.

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17 Responses to “Carrying Defensive Firearms while Drinking?”

  1. Troy Lawson

    So if you are at home, you have a couple of beers after work. Then a home invasion scenario presents itself. What do you do? Do you defend yourself A. with a gun; B. with another kind of weapon; C. your fists? Also a little off topic. How do many, concealed carry where ever they go. I mean they brag about being licensed and carrying all day(EDC)? And what if you encounter the sign, no firearms allowed on premises? Thanks. Troy Lawson

  2. Paul

    There are two considerations. The moral one, which is "should I carry a gun and drink?" and the legal one, which is "can I carry a gun under these circumstances?" In my home state of MD, it is legal to carry (assuming you have a permit) a handgun in a bar, in a restaurant, and it appears, while drinking. It is illegal to carry while "under the influence", whatever that means. There is no legal limit like there is for driving. I carry all the time, and I use "would I drive" as my criteria. I end up the designated driver most of the time because of this. In FL, where I own a second home, it is not legal to carry in a bar, or in the bar area of a restaurant. Interestingly, it is not legal to hold a firearm in your hand if you are intoxicated, unless you are doing so to defend yourself.

  3. indianasteve

    A few years back, here in Indiana, a patron in a bar shot and killed an armed man attempting to rob the bar. They didn't even press charges.

  4. Tim

    While I appreciate these videos, would you please record them somewhere besides on a live range? The gunfire in the background is extremely distracting.

  5. Bobo

    I agree, there's nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks while armed, just because one chooses to drink doesn't negate their right to self-defense. I'm not advocating drinking to excess, being falling down drunk while armed, but a few of drinks over the course of an evening shouldn't be an issue (and is a personal choice) and should you have to use your defensive weapon, a clean shoot is a clean shoot (sober or otherwise) and if charges are filed a gun hating prosecutor is Always going to use what ever he can to try and win their case against you good shoot or not As Rob mentioned some states "allow" you to drink (outside your own home) as long as you aren't intoxicated (as defined by the states allowable bac level) others won't allow you to carry into places that primarily make their money in alcohol sales, others into places that sell alcohol (for on premise consumption) at all.

  6. Zak

    I think it comes down to the individual, and it should be left up to them. Of course the advice is always going to be "don't drink and carry" but making a blanket rule out of it isn't a good idea. What better place to mug someone than outside the bar after all. As with everything else, it comes down to being the individual's responsibility to know whether they'll handle themselves well enough while and after drinking to handle a firearm or not, with the added responsibility of knowing when they need to ask a friend who carries to leave it behind, slow down, or let you take the firearm to the car for them.

  7. tom

    Next time you hold a discussion with someone please don't conduct it at the shooting range with somebody practicing behind you. Very distracting and annoying. Thank you.

  8. MikeBemiss

    Not sure there are many out there that can hold their liquor well enough. And drunk means they can't hit what they are shooting at. I am sure there are some capable, but the rule of thumb to me is it is NOT a good idea

  9. HankB

    I don't believe a drunk ought to be carrying a gun any more than I believe that a drunk ought to be driving. Now in Texas, the law prohibits licensed concealed carry by a person who is "intoxicated" . . . but the carry law doesn't explicitly DEFINE what constitutes intoxication. The general presumption is that a blood alcohol content of 0.08% would be considered intoxication - the same as when driving - but there's no case law I'm aware of that establishes that. (Do YOU want to be the test case?) Things are further complicated by the fact that drivers HAVE been convicted of DUI with LESS than 0.08% BAC. So perhaps an otherwise legally armed citizen could be as well. (Again, test case volunteer, anyone?) Bars? Texas law prohibits carry in an establishment that derives 51% of its sales from alcohol for on-premises consumption, so if you're carrying in a bar at all, you're violating the law. On the other hand, one further consideration: as far as I can tell, there is no "implied consent" provision in Texas carry law to submit to a breathalyzer, blood draw, or field sobriety test the way there is for driving a motor vehicle. So unless there's video of the subject falling down drunk, proving someone was intoxicated when carrying (or after using!) a defensive firearm would take some real effort by LEOs responding to an incident. Personally, I deal with this whole issue by staying sober when carrying.

  10. Chris

    While I enjoyed the video I didn't enjoy trying to listen over gunfire. The topic was interesting but if this is how all the videos are I wouldn't spend anything more for a premium one.

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