ABC Highlights Widow of Murder Victim Who Supports Loosening Gun Laws in Tennessee

On Monday’s World News with Charles Gibson, ABC’s Steve Osunsami filed an unusually balanced report on the issue of gun control as he recounted a legal dispute in Tennessee over a recently enacted law that allows conceal carry holders to bring concealed guns into bars and restaurants. While Osunsami informed viewers of the concerns of some restaurant owners who believe the law makes their establishments more unsafe, and who are suing to block the law, he also relayed the case of a woman who believes she could have fought back against a man who murdered her husband if only she had been legally allowed to take her own gun into a restaurant:

NIKKI GOESER, WIDOW OF MURDER VICTIM: He pulled out a gun and he murdered my husband right in front of me.

STEVE OSUNSAMI: Today, Nikki Goeser says she would have certainly had a gun at her side and would have shot the gunman dead under current law.

GOESER: Crime exists. It happens in schools, it happens in churches, it happens in establishments that serve alcohol. I would have tried to protect my husband.

Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Monday, August 17, World News with Charles Gibson:

CHARLES GIBSON: We're going to take "A Closer Look" tonight at a growing gun control controversy. Should concealed guns be allowed in bars and restaurants? Only eight states, interestingly enough, expressly prohibit handguns in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Arizona has just removed itself from that list. And another state, Tennessee, has decided to expressly allow licensed gun owners to keep their guns concealed when they go out to eat. In Tennessee for us, Steve Osunsami.

STEVE OSUNSAMI: Across Tennessee frustrated bar and restaurant owners can't believe the new law.

DAVID SMITH, ATTORNEY: The Tennessee legislature has, in effect, put guns in bars, and has encouraged shootings in bars.

OSUNSAMI: It is now legal for gun owners who have a permit to carry concealed weapons into any bar or any restaurant that serves liquor. Randy Rayburn runs a bar and restaurant in Nashville, and worries that bar fights will turn into gun fights.

RANDY RAYBURN, BAR OWNER: And I’m a proponent of the Second Amendment and a gun owner, but I keep my gun at home. And our concern is that the one or two percent Dirty Harry wannabes will be trying to impress a girl.

OSUNSAMI: State lawmakers who pushed for the change say that residents have the right to bear arms even in places where alcohol is served.

STATE REP. CURRY TODD (R-TN): I think that you, as a permit holder, have that right and responsibility to protect your family.

OSUNSAMI: At the firing range, they agree with the lawmakers.

PAUL CARR, FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR: Requiring somebody to leave their firearm in their car every time they go into a restaurant to eat just doesn’t make any sense.

OSUNSAMI: In April, 49-year-old Ben Goeser was gunned down at a sports bar in Nashville. His wife was there.

NIKKI GOESER, WIDOW OF MURDER VICTIM: He pulled out a gun and he murdered my husband right in front of me.

OSUNSAMI: Today, Nikki Goeser says she would have certainly had a gun at her side and would have shot the gunman dead under current law.

GOESER: Crime exists. It happens in schools, it happens in churches, it happens in establishments that serve alcohol. I would have tried to protect my husband.

OSUNSAMI: There is one way for restaurants to get around the law and keep the guns out. They can post a sign like this one, saying no. Restaurant and bar owners worry that the signs alone aren't enough, and that they'll have to enforce them and start checking their customers for guns at the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A family with children coming in wants to know has there been an incident here in this restaurant, is this restaurant safe for me to come into?

OSUNSAMI: The bar owners are now suing the state to repeal the law.

RAYBURN: We want to maintain ourselves as Music City, USA, not become Dodge City, USA.

OSUNSAMI: They're arguing that guns and liquor don't mix. Steve Osunsami, ABC News, Chattanooga.