Open Carry Concerns at Octoberfest
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
CREATED Sep. 27, 2013
APPLETON -- A busy weekend in Appleton as License to Cruise kicks off Friday night, followed by Octoberfest Saturday.
But the topic of open carry laws is now an issue, after men brought assault rifles to the Appleton Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago.
“It's an emotional issue,” said Capt. Todd Freeman, with Appleton Police.
And organizers explain they’re aware that the people may bring their guns to Octoberfest.
“The law is out there, the law is what we have to abide by, what they have to abide by,” said Eric Stadler, the Entertainment Chairman
But, they’re leaving the enforcement to police.
“We respect them, as long as they respect us. If we have any issues, our Appleton Police will be taking care of things, they're prepared,” said Stadler.
Police explain that they cannot ask those carrying with a permit to leave.
“They have right to do that and so far the communication has been two way,” said Capt. Freeman.
However, this weekend will be packed with crowds of people and other factors.
“Adding alcohol into the mix certainly is different than the farmers market, so those are variables that would concern us,” said Freeman.
But many of those who enjoy Octoberfest every year are not exactly standing behind open carry at the event.
“What if an accident happens?” questioned Joan Braeger.
“This isn't the appropriate time to make a point,” said Kathy Juedes, from Neenah.
License to Cruise is a non-alcoholic event, and tomorrow, only alcohol bought at Octoberfest can be consumed.