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      Bill would allow guns to be carried in restaurants

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- A Senate panel has advanced a bill intended to let people with concealed weapon permits carry their gun into restaurants.

      The bill advanced Wednesday on a 3-0 vote allows permit holders to carry their concealed weapon into places that serve alcohol.

      Gun rights advocates praised the bill as restoring citizens' rights. But bar and restaurant owners have a different opinion.

      "There's some places that it doesn't belong andI think the bar is one of them," said Yesterday's owner, Duncan MacRae.

      MacRae has been in the bar business for decades and admits that he doesn't think alcohol and guns are a safe combination.

      "Having to have had to use a weapon myself in Vietnam I don't see why I would want to have one when I'm having fun with my friends," said MacRae.

      The bill prevents people from drinking alcohol with a concealed gun. Anyone caught could face up to two years in prison.

      Several people asked legislators to change that, saying they should be able to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner.

      Republican Sen. Shane Massey of Edgefield says that would doom the bill's chances.

      Anthony Roulette with the National Rifle Association says 45 other states allow some form of concealed weapons to be carried into restaurants.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)