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KC bar and restaurant owners push to drop law surrounding liquor permits

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In Kansas City, if someone has a violent past they can't get a liquor permit but restaurants and bars believe the permit isn't needed and want it dropped.

When you're sitting at a bar, chances are you're thinking about your long day at work or weekend plans but do you think about who's pouring your drink?

In KCMO anyone who handles liquor must first pass a background check, and pay $42.00 to get a liquor permit.

Jim Ready with Regulated Industries says the liquor permit is there to stop people with violent pasts from serving your drinks.

"You're trusting people, when they're looking at your ID that they're not gonna do anything with that information," said Ready.

He says last year the background checks stopped 54 people from getting a permit; some of them were murderers, rapists and sex offenders.

"It's not that we're picking on this industry, we're dealing with alcoholic beverages, it's a drug," Ready said.

But restaurant owner Jason Pryor disagrees.

"Bad things happen everywhere and not just by those that handle alcohol," said Pryor.

He's with the greater Kansas City Restaurant Association and plans to bring the liquor permit argument to city council next week.

Pryor doesn't understand how a felon could work in other industries but when it comes to a bar or restaurant there's a road block they can't pass.

"Would you rather have them working in a well-disciplined, licensed establishment where they can be moderated? Versus having them work on your yard or dry wall your home?" Pryor asked.

But Ready argues, when someone is handling alcohol, they're handling a weapon and need to be responsible.

"At the end of the day last year alone if we stopped one murderer, three rapists and six sex offenders from walking into a business, I think that's a good thing. I don't think they should be working," he said.

Both sides of this argument with speak in front of city council's public safety committee on Wednesday.