On March 16th, it was reported that the VFW Post 7779 in Hyde Park went to battle against to state in regards to the smoking ban extension to private clubs. They held a meeting and voted to reinstate smoking at the club. Post Commander Bruce Martin stated that it wasn’t so much about the cigarettes as it was about sending a message that the state is butting in where it doesn’t belong.
“These people are sick of the state taking away our private rights.”, stated Martin.
I commend them for taking the initiative to push the limits of the law and I had hoped they would continue to stand against the state. Other VFWs have been rumored to begin allowing smoking again as well.
However, in the end, it appears that the state’s threats of $10,000/day fines were too much for them to risk. However, I would have like to see the state try to shut down a VFW for smoking. That would have been one of the best opportunities for overturning the law. I would imagine that a VFW would have had the best chance of getting public support against the state. I cannot imagine many people siding with the state against veterans on whether they should be able to smoke or not in their own club.