No guns on Beale rule takes effect

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Now Beale Street patrons must pass metal detectors before they're permitted to party.

The measure is meant to keep guns out of bars.

"We want to make absolutely certain that everybody on Beale Street is safe, and the only way to do it is to make sure there are no guns on Beale," said Onzie Horne of the Beale Street Merchants Association.
    
Horne says every merchant is in agreement that a new state law allowing permit holders to carry firearms into bars was a bad idea.
    
"It's not as if the threat has not existed before, but the state law has generated the perception amongst the general public that it's okay to do something that before didn't make sense," he said.
    
As a result, metal-detecting wands will now be a permanent fixture at every entrance into the Beale Street entertainment district.
    
Security officials say there's no reason for party-goers to be alarmed.
    
"None whatsoever," said PSI Security Owner Leonard Porter. "We don't touch you. It takes all of 15 or 20 seconds."
    
Beale Street officials hope patrons are willing to sacrifice those few seconds to ensure the rest of their night will be safer.
    
Some carry-permit holders don't believe Beale Street merchants or anyone else should have the right to override state law. But bar and restaurant owners do have the right to ban guns and use detectors.

The best advice may be to leave all weapons at home.

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