The display of Smith & Wessons, Glocks and Kel-Tec pistols among lattes and coffeecake was part of an organized rally to spread awareness about Wisconsin's open carry law as well as the recent treatment of a Sussex gun carrier by local law enforcement. Participants later drove to the Wisconsin State Patrol District Headquarters in Waukesha and demonstrated on the front lawn.
The turnout – about 40 people from various parts of Wisconsin and Illinois – may indicate growing support for the expansion of gun rights in the state, and in particular, legislation that could make it possible for people to carry concealed weapons.
State law allows adults to openly carry guns, but not in businesses that ask them not to, places that serve alcohol, and not in school zones or public buildings. Last spring, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen re-affirmed in a brief the right of Wisconsin's residents to bear arms openly, saying that those who do so should not be subject to disorderly conduct tickets from local law enforcement.
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“That was the floodgate,” said New Berlin resident Nik Clark, who organized the rally Sunday and is the president of Wisconsin Carry Inc., a new statewide organization pushing for expanded gun rights. “It verified what people already knew, but some people were still afraid to carry their guns openly until that opinion came out.”
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Clark said Sunday's gathering was prompted by what members perceived as improper law enforcement action against Sussex resident Joseph Schneider.
Earlier this month, a Wisconsin State Patrol officer approached Schneider at China Wok in Sussex and asked him to take his gun out of the business. Schneider, who said he has openly carried his gun many times at the China Wok in Sussex without a problem, videotaped the encounter and then left the restaurant. Read more
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel