Group Uses Chicken in Open Carry Protest at Appleton Farmer's Market
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
APPLETON, Wis.- A protest gaining attention at the Appleton Farmer's Market as one group takes a stance on gun laws, using a chicken.
The move leaves police scratching their heads and asking a group member to leave the area as he violates city ordinances, by bringing in the live chicken. Yet the group wants to make a point, if a chicken isn't allowed at the market, guns shouldn't be either.
The group says after an incident a few weeks ago where police allowed two men to walk around the farmer's market openly carrying AR-15 rifles. They felt it was time to prove how ridiculous open carry laws are, but others feel this stunt isn't helping.
Appleton police asked the Mark Scheffler, one of the members of the protest group to leave with his chicken because bringing animals to the farmer's market violates city rules.
Scheffler said he named the chicken Winnie, short for Winchester, like the rifle. He feels the name is fitting considering he and his group of concerned Appleton residents are protesting Wisconsin's open carry laws. Scheffler says allowing guns into a city function just isn't safe and he's demonstrating just how ridiculous he thinks it is.
"Carrying a loaded assault weapon in downtown Appleton, the fine is zero. The fine for carrying a loaded chicken and she is loaded is $263.50," said Scheffler.
Appleton police say they are just enforcing the state ordinances.
"It's our job to make sure that the laws are enforced and in this case open carry is legal," said Appleton deputy police chief.
Charles Branstrom walks through the farmer's market carrying his loaded pistol, but just a few weeks ago he was the one stopped by police for having a rifle. He thinks this chicken protest isn't comparable.
"That can be a health hazard, there's food being prepared down here and it's illegal," said Branstrom.
Appleton police are not issuing a fine for Scheffler and his chicken as long as they stay out of the farmer's market area from now on.