State lawmaker supports idea to exempt Wilmington bars from membership policy
State lawmakers from our area are speaking out, after we reported several local bar owners are concerned about State ABC board members enforcing an old law that requires bars to include a membership roster for private clubs.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - State lawmakers from our area are speaking out, after we reported several local bar owners are concerned about State ABC board members enforcing an old law that requires bars to include a membership roster for private clubs.
Bar owners believe enforcing the law will turn patrons away, by making them fill out paperwork and pay a membership fee.
State Representative Susi Hamilton who represents New Hanover and Brunswick Counties agrees.
According to Hamilton, the conversation of bar memberships resurfaced due to authorities in the Raleigh and Greensboro area having issues with fights happening at establishments.
Hamilton says, since we are a tourist area, people visiting will probably decide not to go out. She says, instead of dealing with membership restrictions. She's hoping to sponsor a bi-partisan bill in the spring to help local bar owners with the policy.
"These are very large venues where the problems have taken place," said Hamilton. "A thousand plus people in one place and enforce is a different ball game. As oppose to a local pub like the Duck and Dive in downtown Wilmington, where you can't get more than 50 people in there. So, it's a different atmosphere, different environment and I think they can and should be treated differently."
Senator Thom Goolsby, who represents New Hanover Coutny, said having bar memberships is the current law.