Dozens of weapons found during Beale Street security checks

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Despite Beale Street's ban on guns, dozens of weapons have been found on visitors there.

Beale Street merchants decided to ban weapons after a state law went into effect allowing guns in bars and restaurants.

In an interview with Action News 5 last month, PSI Security owner Leonard Porter demonstrated how visitors to Beale are scanned using security wands.

But even Porter is surprised by the number of weapons his officers have since detected.

"Kind of scary, a little bit," he said. "You kind of just imagine what was happening before."

Porter says guards have found all types of guns on visitors.

"It's just an enormous amount of people walking around with guns," he said.

They've also found many varieties of knives.

His officers politely ask armed patrons to return weapons to their homes or cars. It's up to Memphis Police to determine if they're legally allowed to carry them.

Many visitors consider not having weapons on the street a big relief.

"Well, it alleviates the problem," said visitor LaDonna Triggs. "Drinks and guns don't mix."

Patron Ernie Lurvey agrees.

"You're not gonna have gunfire breaking out," he said.

(Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)