Beale Street bar owners say they're pleased with gun ban

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Beale Street's first weekend battling a new Tennessee law went smoothly, but slowly, according to patrons.

"Last night we came at around 10:00 p.m. and there was a really long line to get onto Beale," said visitor Sally Goodin.

But they say good things come to those who wait, and some patrons said the security cut down on loitering.

"There's a lot less traffic on Beale Street, I think due to that, which made it a lot more enjoyable," Goodin said.

Bar owner Silky Sullivan says no one has complained so far about not being allowed to bring guns to Beale Street, despite a new state law that allows guns in bars.

"I think the wild west days are over," he said.

Sullivan says lawmakers should have a taste of their own legislation.

"In my opinion, if they make such a law as this...first of all, they should make a law where they can bring guns into the legislature," he said. "Maybe they would enjoy that...just like they're putting this burden on us."

Registered gun owner Barbara Blue has mixed feelings about Beale Street's ban on guns.

"It's not just a safety issue about feeling safer in that bar, that wouldn't be my reason for carrying a gun." Blue said. "It would probably be for walking to my car."

But Beale Street Merchants like Sullivan want nothing of it, which is why patrons will need to get past hand-held wands now before getting into his, or any other Beale Street bar.

The Memphis Area Restaurant Association has printed "no guns allowed" signs for it's member restaurants to post, and the City of Memphis is encouraging restaurants to ban guns.

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