His walk in the park was no walk in the park, so to speak, but a Wisconsin man’s public stand against unlawful open-carry restrictions seems to be having the desired effect: his county is changing its policy.
The man, Bill Polster, recorded himself on a walk through Calumet County Park last month while he carried two guns, and after 10 minutes, he was confronted by law enforcement.
Polster swears near the beginning of the encounter as he realizes one of the officers is aiming a rifle at him.
“Don’t point that f***ing gun at me!” he yells. “He’s got a gun pointed at me, that’s bulls***!”
The other officer tells Polster that county ordinance prohibits carrying loaded firearms through the park, and while Polster is able to cite state laws that should supersede the county rules, the officer nevertheless takes and unloads both of Polster’s weapons.
The officer winds up giving Polster a warning for the incident.
Content warning: strong language
After video of the incident was posted to YouTube, county officials met, reviewed the rules and decided that the county ordinance would need to be updated to comply with state law, WLUK-TV reported.
And while the new ordinance — which is expected to ban hunting in the park but allow open carry — won’t be drawn up until September, Chief Deputy Brett Bowe of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office told WLUK that the sheriff’s department would not enforce the old blanket ban.
“Obviously there is no hunting in the county park,” Bowe said. “Those were covered under that ordinance. We’re going to have to redo that ordinance to cover those specifically while allowing open-carry.”
And while Polster said the officers who confronted him could have handled the situation better (and he also apologized for his own swearing, saying he was “not proud of the vulgarity”), Bowe defended his officers’ work.
“They handled the incident appropriately,” Bowe said, adding, “Once [Polster] understood what we were doing, he was cooperative with that, and we handled it right there.”
If the county goes through with the ordinance change, halting open-carry is a situation police won’t have to handle again.
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