A demonstration in Appleton, Wisconsin has brought attention to a fairly strange juxtaposition of laws. Open carry of firearms is legal in the state, but chickens… not so much.
A small group of protesters stood outside of the Appleton Farm Market the pose a simple question to shoppers: Which makes you feel safer, a chicken or a gun? To demonstrate, a guy named Mark Scheffler had a chicken with him, reports Fox 11.
“This is Winchester,” Scheffler said. “She is a laying hen, and she is illegal.”
Yet, Scheffler doesn’t understand why his Winchester is illegal to carry openly while carrying a real Winchester rifle within city limits is totally okay.
“You cannot have livestock inside the city limits of Appleton. The fine for keeping livestock is $263.50. The fine for carrying a loaded assault weapon through downtown Appleton is zero,” said Scheffler.
He admits though, that both Winchester the chicken and a Winchester rifle pose public risks.
The group behind the protest, Cluck or Duck, says that it plans on petitioning state legislators to limit open-carry laws to rural areas
“I am a hunter. I am a gun owner, and I think the weapons should have limitations,” Scheffler said.
Police did ask him to remove his chicken.
Also on scene was Charles Branstrom, who says he was detained by police for carrying weapons two weeks ago after someone called 911.
“In the past, anytime anyone’s called when I’ve carried a pistol, they usually come up and talk to us, find out our intentions, and go on our way,” said Branstrom.
Still, he thinks that Scheffler’s chicken metaphor is a bit of a stretch.
“I think it’s kind of silly because what we did and what we do with open carry is perfectly legal. I don’t know the actual law for the chickens but I could see that as a health hazard,” Branstrom said.
Open carry in Wisconsin has incited some controversy, but police in the state seem prepared for multiple situations, and try to determine whether someone carrying a gun is a threat.
“Any time weapons are introduced to a scene, it heightens everyone’s awareness of it. So part of our job is to observe the behaviors associated with that and make a determination if we need to intervene or not,” said Deputy Chief Todd Olm.
Do you think that Wisconsinites should be able to carry their chickens openly?