Guns and Bars Law Tested by First Drunken Idiot Waving Gun in Bar




Although Ohio’s controversial guns in bars law — the piece of legislation that allows conceal-carry permit owners to wear their firearms in establishments that serve alcohol — has only been on the books for a couple weeks, already an Ohioan has been arrested for waving his piece around at the local watering hole while intoxicated.

Now, not surprisingly, both sides of the hot debate are looking at this pile of facts and claiming the arrest supports the argument they’ve been crowing the whole time.

The cuffs snapped the wrists of Chad O’Reilly last Wednesday. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, he was really acting like a top-notch asshole: around 2a.m., a wasted O’Reilly got into a confrontation with another patron at the H&H Tavern in Deer Park. The 25-year-old conceal carry permit holder went out to his car, came back with his .40 caliber Glock handgun, waved it at his Hispanic foil, dropped a racial slur, and announced: “I’m going to kill you.”

Before the situation escalated any further, O’Reilly’s friends got him outside the bar, where police arrested him at gunpoint without incident shortly thereafter. He was found with injectable testosterone, so maybe that explains why he went from prick to potential killer in zero to six.

Now that we have the details, lets look at the fallout. Obviously, gun control advocates are pointing to this and saying, Look, see, this is exactly what we were talking about!

Via the Enquirer:

“This law is so absurd,” said Toby Hoover, director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. “Without this law, maybe some fists would have flied. Instead, he’s waving a gun around.”

On the opposite side of the universe, the law’s supporters are also saying, Look, see, this is exactly what we were talking about! They cheer the move as a sign the law worked as intended because O’Reilly will lose his gun license and face additional charges for his misstep.

“This fellow made a serious mistake,” said state Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, who supported changing the law. “Nothing in the law allows you to do anything other than carry a gun into an establishment if you have a permit.”

Obviously, we’re all lucky no one was hurt in this situation, but it’s hard to say we shouldn’t have seen something like this coming. In fact, law enforcement officials, who were against the bill, predicted this situation before it even happened. It might help to reach back into our controversial cover story from April, where Steve Loomis, head of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told us this:

"Innocent people are going to be the ones who get hurt," he says. "When two drunken idiots start pulling guns on each other because they're trying to pick up the same girl at the bar, it's not going to be either one of them [that's injured]; it's going to be the waitress sitting in the corner minding her own business."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.