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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Pro-gun advocates worry that a bill to permit handguns in North Carolina bars is being quietly shoved aside.
The bill would allow people with concealed weapons licenses to carry guns into businesses that serve alcohol. The bill is currently on hold in the Senate Finance Committee.
As it stands, state law only allows owners or leasees of establishments to carry a gun.
House Bill 111 would allow business owners to individually prohibit guns from their restaurants or bars, and it would remain illegal for concealed carry holders to drink alcohol while carrying a loaded handgun.
"We are asking legislators to stop restaurant homicide," The president of Grass Roots North Carolina, F. Paul Valone said.
Valone points to area murders involving restaurant workers including two in Charlotte earlier this year. Edward Rosen was shot and killed by a robber at the Fast Wok on Harris Boulevard. That same weekend, pregnant restaurant manager Danielle Watson was stabbed to death by another employee.
"It's only a matter of time that someone is killed in one of these robberies and if the legislators refuse to act I would have to say they are responsible," Valone said.
Pro-gun advocates think the Senate's inaction is intentional. Valone says senators are afraid to take up the controversial legislation before the November election.
Senate leader Phil Berger says legislators are busy working on the budget and will address the bill as soon as they can. Berger says it is a matter of when, not if, the bill gets put to vote.
Copyright 2012 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.