Allowing guns in businesses that serve alcohol doesn’t create an unsafe workplace, according to an official with Tennessee OSHA (TOSHA).
A server at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro in Nashville filed a complaint to TOSHA alleging that mixing firearms and booze creates hazards for workers.
The TOSHA inspector who fielded the complaint said since there had been only two incidents involving disorderly or drunk customers at Jackson’s since January 2009, a new law allowing guns where alcohol is served doesn’t create a workplace hazard.
However, information obtained by The Tennessean shows there had been nine incidents during the period involving drunk or disorderly people at the bar, but only two required police response.
Attorney David Randolph Smith, who is representing the server, said multiple appeals are being prepared. One of the appeals may be to federal OSHA.
A Tennessee Department of Labor spokesman said the ruling involving Jackson’s shouldn’t be interpreted as a finding on the new gun law as a whole.
The new law allows permit holders to carry guns into businesses that serve alcohol, as long as they don’t drink alcohol at the time.
Bars and restaurants may post signs prohibiting guns, but Jackson’s hasn’t done so.
Smith was behind a successful lawsuit that struck down an earlier law that allowed guns only in businesses that primarily sold food in addition to alcohol. A judge ruled that law unconstitutional.
Both houses of the state’s legislature overrode a veto by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D).
“The general duty clause of TOSHA says that an employer has a duty to protect and safeguard employees against recognized hazards to human health, safety and life,” Smith said.
Are lawfully carried guns in businesses that serve alcohol a danger to the establishment’s employees? Does it depend upon the record of violent incidents that have occurred at the bar or restaurant? Let us know what you think in the Comment Box below.