When I tell people my IG/blog is called Pinot+Pistols, a common response is, “That sounds safe [insert sarcasm here]”. I usually enjoy the two separately, but there are times when you’ll see images like the one above, or you’ll see my concealed carry outfit of the day when I’m going to a wine event, or something of that nature. And I often get questions or comments about alcohol + firearms. As we all know, firearms and alcohol don’t always mix well. But don’t worry, I take my safety and the safety of others around me very seriously, and I am not in violation of Oregon law by enjoying Pinot+Pistols simultaneously.
Know the laws in your state, county, or city.
Currently in the state of Oregon, there are no specific regulations on firearms and establishments that serve alcohol. Unlike some other states, I can legally have my concealed carry firearm on me in Oregon while at a restaurant that serves alcohol, a bar, or a tasting room, and can partake in enjoying an adult beverage while doing so. Make sure you know the laws in your state and what is or is not allowed when you’re carrying or in an establishment that serves alcohol.
Of course, safety is of utmost importance. There are a few things I take into consideration when it comes to carrying and drinking:
Safety & Drinking
In general whether I am carrying or not, I do not wish to compromise my safety by being impaired, therefore I do not drink to get drunk. My focus is more on leisure, enjoyment, education, and complementing what I’m eating (because I’m always eating). I’ll enjoy a beverage or two, but limit my consumption and enjoy adult beverages at a leisurely pace with adequate hydration and food throughout. If I start to feel buzzed, I’ll switch to a non-alcoholic beverage, but I rarely even get to that point. When it comes to our safety, maintaining situational awareness, good judgement, and the ability to make decisions is key, especially for women and especially when there is alcohol present.
If I am driving, I am usually also carrying and I plan my alcohol consumption around those factors. Like any smart consumer of alcohol, if I am planning to consume more than one or two adult beverages throughout the course of an event or night out, I plan for a safe ride to and from wherever I am going and I DO NOT DRIVE. The same applies for carrying. If I am planning to consume more than one or two adult beverages throughout the course of an event or night out, I DO NOT CARRY.
I generally choose to carry whenever possible, much like I choose to drive whenever possible. Rather than drinking excessively, I limit my alcohol consumption when I am out so that I can stay safe, vigilant, and in control of my own destiny. If I am ever faced with a situation where I have to use my firearm in self-defense, I don’t want being under the influence of alcohol to be a determining factor in whether or not I was able to effectively defend myself, or whether or not I was justified in using lethal force. So, I keep my BAC in check. I know my limits and I make sure to adequately prepare myself and maintain good judgment in navigating circumstances involving alcohol or firearms or both.
Alcohol + Firearms at Home
On the other hand, sipping on wine while dry firing or cleaning guns at home is something I do often. And in those cases, I am typically a little more lax in my alcohol consumption given that I am at home. In addition to the four rules of gun safety, I have a few other rules in my home to make sure I don’t have any accidents when wine and guns are involved.
First and foremost, the four rules of gun safety are king:
- Treat all firearms as if they are loaded
- Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire
- Always be sure of your target and what’s beyond it
And here are some additional rules for my home:
- Keep live ammo completely separate from any areas where dry fire, cleaning, or maintenance takes place.
- Never “play” with loaded firearms. Anything I do at home is training or maintenance oriented with a clear firearm.
- Loaded firearms remain holstered while at home. If they are unholstered, it is to change holsters or immediately clear the firearm for training or maintenance. Or, to stop a threat.
- Always always always check the condition of the weapon before doing anything with it, even if I only put it down for just a minute.
- And if I do wind up getting wine-drunk… I don’t do anything with my firearms, just to stay on the safe side.
Again, safety is key! Be smart and safe, and enjoy your Pinot+Pistols responsibly.
What are your thoughts regarding alochol + firearms? What firearms rules do you have for your home? Tell me below in the comments!
*The information in this post if my own personal philosophy and should not be misconstrued as legal advice or a recommended approach. Do your own research as to the laws in your areas, find an approach that works for you, and use your best judgement.*