The public strongly opposes guns in bars.
Ninety-three percent of Americans think people should not be allowed to bring guns into bars. Alcohol is associated with increased aggression, and people under the influence of alcohol are both more likely to be shot and more likely to kill someone else.
Alcohol is associated with heightened levels of aggression. Alcohol intoxication increases the likelihood of violent behavior. Alcohol has detrimental effects on cognitive functioning, inhibits problem-solving abilities, and increases the likelihood of risk-taking, all of which are directly linked to aggressive behavior.
Alcohol leads to impaired judgment about whether to shoot a gun, as well as impaired aim when firing.
Nearly half of homicide offenders were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the homicide. The Department of Justice found that 42% of convicted homicide offenders reported being under the influence of alcohol during the commission of their crime.
Heavy alcohol use is associated with a higher likelihood of firearm victimization. Controlling for other factors, a case-control study in Philadelphia found that heavy drinkers were more than twice as likely to be shot as nondrinkers.
Recent examples attest to the dangers of guns in bars.
On May 14, 2015, Mark Walck, 51, got into an argument with Raul Castro Jr., 41, inside of a Tucson bar, allegedly drew a handgun, and fatally shot Castro.
On April 25, 2015, Derrick Jermaine Boone, 39, got into an altercation with Yusef Wilson, 29, inside of a bar in Williamsport, PA. According to news reports, Wilson threw a chair at Boone, who then drew a handgun and fatally shot Wilson. Two bystanders were also shot and injured.
On February 17, 2015, 26-year-old Harvey Scott shot security guard Deion Nesbitt multiple times in a Pittsburgh bar, killing him. He also allegedly shot and injured another security guard during a struggle over the weapon.
Everytown Research & Policy is a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence. Everytown Research & Policy works to do so by conducting methodologically rigorous research, supporting evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public.