Petition aims to allow 18-year-olds into Shreveport bars, clubs

Petition aims to allow 18-year-olds into Shreveport bars, clubs

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A petition to allow 18-year-olds into Shreveport bars and nightclubs is gaining momentum.

It was started by Louisiana Film Prize organizer Chris Lyon.

"These venues are the coffee shops of the night and it's unfortunate that currently, we have to send an 18-year-old or a 19 year- old home," Lyon said.

In the petition, Lyon states that "allowing 18+ would be a small step in providing access to culture, nightlife and the community they may one day be a part of. If New Orleans can do it, if Baton Rouge, Dallas, and Austin can do it, we can, too."

Lyon organized the petition with one simple idea in mind, if you are old enough to go to war then you are old enough to get into a bar.

"They're all legal adults- some of them serve in the military – some of them are students and they're making decisions about where they want to live and make a life and if were not opening things up for them – not to drink but to attend these cultural events that are happening at these bars then we are missing that opportunity."

Shreveport city council members recently passed a law saying that anyone- no matter what age- would be allowed into craft breweries. So could that apply to bars as well? According to City Councilman Jeff Everson, it's not quite that simple.

"It's a little bit of a different market or demographic that we're talking about – also of course in bars and clubs they're able to sell a variety of products – so it's a little bit different than a brewery setting," Everson said.

Everson says city council is currently reviewing their alcohol policy.

Some of the things he says they are looking into include Sunday alcohol sales, different ways that alcohol is licensed in the city, and more.

But according to Shreveport resident, Betty Walpool 18-year-olds still have a little more living to do.

"They will have much life in front of them to visit bars and clubs – so I just think at 18 they should not be allowed the chance to have interests in other things other than the nightlife."

Lyon's petition has a goal of 1,000 signatures.

It is only 200 signatures short of that mark.

Once that goal is reached, Lyon said, the petition will be delivered to several Shreveport City Council members.

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