Concerned residents sent a flurry of emails to Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna after two men showed up armed with assault rifles near the city’s farmers market, according to a new analysis.
A few emails supported the men’s Second Amendment rights, but most were from residents who threatened to stay away from future public events if firearms could be present, the Post Crescent Media reported.
“As long as there are people with guns walking around this city, my family will not be,” wrote Adam Fredrick, of Appleton.
The men were carrying AR-15 assault rifles legally near the market on Sept. 7. Police detained them at gunpoint and handcuffed them before eventually releasing them without tickets.
“If these idiots are this paranoid perhaps they should stay home and protect their fortress and not wander around on the streets,” Mary Rutten, of Appleton, wrote of the men. “I do not want to live like this where people feel they have to carry guns to protect themselves at a public and/or family event.”
Other writers were worried about how the incident might affect the city’s reputation. Some asked Hanna to figure out creative ways to keep the city safe for families without violating state law.
Hanna noted that open-carry laws are governed by state statute and can’t be altered by city ordinance. He added that he’d like to see the state law changed, but acknowledged that the chances of that happening are remote.