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Gun raffle might be alcohol-free

January 13, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The Marion Fire Co. will not be able to sell alcohol at a gun raffle it is planning this summer in Antrim Township unless it can sway the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors to make an exception to the local rule.

Antrim Township is a dry township, meaning no sale of alcohol is permitted, but the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board can issue one-day liquor licenses for events in the township with consent from the supervisors.

The board voted Tuesday to deny the Marion Fire Co.'s first request for permission to sell alcohol at a firearm raffle it has scheduled in August at the Greencastle Sportsman's Association.

The majority of the board said it wanted to see the fire company make more of an effort to protect residents and the township against the potential ramifications that come with selling alcohol.

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Supervisor Rick Baer swung the board when he cast his vote against giving the green light to sell alcohol to the fire company.

Baer said his mind on the matter might change if the fire company could show that it has obtained insurance and has lined up security for selling alcohol at the event.

"That intersection at Williamson (Avenue) and Sportsmans Road is not for someone who is intoxicated," Baer said.

Solicitor John Lisko said insurance is not required by the state or the township, but it is a good idea.

He recommended the fire company look into insurance to protect itself if sued because of an alcohol-related accident.

Marion Fire Co. representative Michael Preso said the company is considering insurance, as well as hiring a security service to monitor safety at the event, since each $8 ticket will come with food and drink, including alcohol for those of legal age.

Supervisor Sam Miller said no matter what the fire company does, there will inevitably be someone leaving the event legally intoxicated.

"You get a ticket and can drink all that you want," he said. "I've been to those before and no matter how much you monitor, someone is leaving drunk."

Miller urged the board to deny the request, saying his opposition was based on a moral conviction that he could not support allowing such a risk to the township.

Lisko said the township has not set a precedent for permitting organizations to obtain special-events licenses from the state.

However, Lisko said permission is only necessary if the alcohol is sold.

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