Don’t Take Your Gun to Town

WEST PALM BEACH, FL– A retired West Palm Beach police chief accidentally created a stir at the old county courthouse when he walked in to donate a historic rifle.

    William M. Barnes was trying to get inside the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum on Monday, which is located inside the old courthouse.

    Barrens was donating a rifle seized in the 1940s or 1950s from legendary South Florida gangster John Ashley to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, which operates the museum. A receptionist at the museum did not recognize him and called police after she saw the rifle.

    When officers arrived, he told them the gun was unloaded. A museum official came out and confirmed his story.

    The 87-year-old Barnes was West Palm Beach’s police chief for two decades.

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