Evansville bar makes changes to gain approval for gun show
EVANSVILLE Authorities say the owner of an Evansville bar and banquet hall can host a gun show this weekend after making changes since his January gun show was shut down.
Rock County Sheriff’s Capt. Jude Maurer said Gene O’s Wild Ride Saloon, 7530 N. County M, can host a gun show Friday through Sunday in the banquet hall as long as no alcohol is served in the hall.
Gene Heiman, owner of the bar also known as the Red Barn, said no alcohol will be allowed in the hall, and the door between the hall and the smaller bar will be locked.
Alcohol will be served in the small bar, but it can’t be brought into the hall, he said. Food, soda and water will be served in the hall, but all coolers containing alcohol will be locked, he said.
The gun show will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, he said. Security guards will be on duty inside the hall overnights.
Heiman was told that a deputy will walk through Friday to ensure the verbally-agreed-upon changes were made, Maurer said.
If the deputy encounters any possible issues, the deputy will call Maurer before taking action, he said.
The sheriff’s office in early January shut down the last day of a three-day gun show at the bar after concluding it violated state statutes regarding its Class B liquor license.
“It all came down to the alcohol,” Maurer said.
No single statute specifically prohibits gun shows in taverns, Maurer said at the time. After reviewing the statutes, authorities determined the facility was violating statutes by allowing unaccompanied minors into the show where alcohol was being served and allowing a business other than the tavern to operate within the building, he said. Heiman said parents accompanied minors at the show.
Heiman had said the January show was the 40th annual gun show held at his business, and he’d never had a problem or complaint until an anonymous caller expressed concerns to a 911 dispatcher.