This is what the NRA has in mind. If you want to take your AR-15 semi automatic gun to the Farmers Market, then go right ahead. Lots of wild animals there. Great place for hunting.
Two men heading to Appleton’s downtown farmers market with AR-15 rifles slung over their shoulders and handguns in holsters swiftly attracted the attention of police officers last weekend.
Now, they’re attracting attention across the Internet, with some gun rights advocates expressing outrage that the pair were held at gunpoint and handcuffed, while others voice frustration at what they consider a foolish and dangerous stunt.
The men, Charles Branstrom, 27, and Ross Bauman, 22, ultimately were released without tickets or charges.
Gun rights advocates think the police acted inappropriately.
“I would never blame police for following up on ‘man with a gun’ calls, but they still have to behave within the limits of the law and abide by people’s constitutional rights,” said Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry, Inc., a gun rights group. “I believe the police were acting outside of their legal authority when they pointed guns at the individuals and involuntarily detained them.”
Milwaukee’s police chief ridiculed the pair.
“In a post Aurora-Newtown environment, it’s a reckless and irresponsible stunt to strut around in public with an assault-style weapon and think police should assume you’re well-intentioned,” Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Thursday, referring to mass shooting incidents in Colorado and Connecticut.
“It’s just absurd,” Flynn said. “This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. These characters and those who support them should be ashamed of themselves.”
Appleton police declined to comment beyond a prepared statement issued after a Journal Sentinel inquiry Thursday. It said police responded after getting calls about the men from concerned citizens, briefly detained the men and released them after determining they intended no harm and were in legal possession of the guns. The department “has no ongoing investigation and considers the issue resolved,” the statement reads.