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Chicken to be used to demonstrate against open carry firearm laws

Chicken (Photo by: Timophey Tkachik).
Chicken (Photo by: Timophey Tkachik).

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - About 20 Appleton residents plan to protest the state law which allows the open carrying of firearms, by parading a chicken through the downtown farmers' market Saturday.

Group spokesman Mark Scheffler says their goal is to get ticketed. The idea is to show how absurd it is to allow guns to be carried in public, while the city fines people $263.50 for possessing chickens within the city limit. 

Scheffler tells the Appleton Post-Crescent it will, "put the police in an untenable position" by having to "gauge the intent of someone carrying an assault weapon."

He says now is the time for that discussion -- but the farmers' market is not the place for it, according to event organizer Jennifer Stephany. She says people come to shop, and it's not a "political playground."  

Two weeks ago, two Appleton residents were briefly detained by police for walking toward the farmers' market with AR-15s. They were released without being charged, but gun rights' supporters say the men should have never been stopped in the first place. 

The act of civil disobedience by the group hopes it leads to a conversation and change in state law with legislators giving the option for municipalities to ban open carry in their jurisdiction.

One of the gun toting men said he plans to show up with a holster Saturday -- and if he runs into the chicken people, he hopes they'll have a good discussion.  

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