January 28, 2021

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2021

(Austin, TX) – Executive Order No. GA-28, defined restaurants as businesses “that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages.” However, 51 percent is not consistent with the requirements for a food and beverage certificate, as this was changed from 51 percent to 60 percent in 2017. The 51 percent was used to determine which establishments were to remain open or closed and consequently resulted in several unnecessary shutdowns.

HB 1378 and HB 1379 will clarify statute to better define a restaurant. These bills also clarify where law-abiding gun owners may carry by eliminating the 51% firearm ban.

This issue was brought to Representative Patterson’s attention during the bar closures that occurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  At least one Denton County restaurant in HD 106 was forced to shut down multiple times because of the 51 percent order, despite having a food and beverage certificate, full kitchen and were under the 60 percent mark.  This caused dozens of employees to lose work and their source of income.

To prevent such a situation from occurring again, Patterson filed HB 1378 and HB 1379 as potential solutions. HB 1378 would allow for establishments which hold food and beverage certificates to be distinguished as a restaurant, while HB 1379 would change the 51 percent sign to more than 60 percent, aligning statute with the percentage that is actually utilized in accord with the food and beverage certificate. Additionally, both bills would be beneficial to individuals carrying concealed handguns, as establishments making under 60 percent in alcohol sales would not have to comply with the requirements of Section 411.204 of the Government Code.

Patterson stated, “COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on many individual’s health and wellbeing, but due to inconsistent and outdated statute, the livelihoods of many restaurant owners and their staff were unnecessarily impacted also. I am confident that the solutions proposed by HB 1378 and HB 1379 will prohibit such an instance from happening again. Also, as a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment, I am pleased that both bills would allow more opportunity for people to carry because of more clearly defined establishments.”

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. His family resides in Frisco.