ICarry.org - Sept 20, 2010 Breaking News Release: Lessons from Wisconsin's Last Incident of Police Harassment of Citizens Lawfully Carrying Firearms in the Open
On Saturday, September 18th, a group of five responsible firearms owners gathered to share company and conversation at Culvers on Town Blvd in Madison, Wisconsin. Approximately eight Madison police officers approached the firearms owners who were enjoying food and discussion with one another.
Demanding identification of the gun owners, officers used intimidation and coercion in attempts to force the citizens to provide ID. State law does not allow officers to demand ID in circumstances like this, and Madison PD’s very own “legal updates” explains exactly why refusing to provide ID is not “obstructing.”
Despite this well-known aspect of law, at least two of the law-abiding firearms owners were arrested and cited with “obstructing” charges for not providing ID. All of the citizens were harassed in public, intimidated and coerced, and inconvenienced and humiliated by the disrespectful, diminishing, and suppressive behavior of Madison police officers.
ICarry.org would first like to thank Wisconsin Carry, Inc. for its steadfast resolve to protect citizens’ rights in Wisconsin. ICarry.org is committed to supporting Wisconsin Carry, Inc. and all responsible firearms owners in the state.
The vast majority of officers are well-trained to respect the rights of citizens openly carrying firearms. Over the past few years in Wisconsin, a great deal of education has been provided for police, and police throughout the state have been exhibiting exemplary performance. There have been only a select few isolated incidents of failure of training or behavioral problems with police.
ICarry.org would like to see this incident be the last. It’s time to accept and embrace the lawful practice of open carry. There is no need to discriminate or profile against open carriers – they should be afforded the same level of dignity and respect as all other peaceful citizens. Like police officers, they too carry a sidearm only for self-protection.