Tennessee’s new law allowing people with handgun permits to be armed in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol is unconstitutionally vague, a judge ruled on Nov. 27. Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman said the law, enacted earlier this year over the veto of Gov. Phil Bredesen, is “fraught with ambiguity.”

She ruled after an hour of arguments in a lawsuit brought by a group of plaintiffs, many of them restaurant owners.

Tennessee previously banned handguns in all locations where alcohol was served. The new law made an exception for establishments that serve at least one meal on five days per week and that “the serving of such meals shall be the principal business conducted.” Tennessee has no legal definition to distinguish bars from restaurants.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that it would be difficult for patrons to know what restaurants met the exceptions, which would put them at risk of breaking the law. “What citizen could ever know that?” attorney David Raybin asked during the hearing. “It’s not within the knowledge to know that fact. It’s criminal if you make the wrong choice.”

However, Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay Fuller Sanders said patrons who have concerns “can just ask. Common sense should not be thrown out the window.”

But, alas, once again it was.

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