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Thread: Wausau Balloon and RibFest

  1. #1
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    Wausau Balloon and RibFest

    Wife and I rode bikes down, open carry in a retention holster. Walked in the open gate onto the airport grounds with the normal Rib stands set up around the perimeter. Decided on the Chicago Ribs place and got in line. Beautiful day, a little warm and a little breezy to fly balloons.

    So, standing in line, two Wausau Policeeman approach me and ask if they can speak to me for a moment. Ask if I am LE, no I am not. Informed that I am not allowed to carry a handgun in here as we are on FEDERAL airport land, on the grass runway in fact.

    I told him I WAS allowed to carry in an airport in Wisconsin up to the security check point, and that I did not go through a checkpoint.

    They asked me to walk with them to their patrol car outside the gate, which I did, while my wife stayed in line. I was still armed at this point. But I had one on each side of me, and I was not certain I wouldn't be thrown to the ground outside the gate. They were both very polite and nice, if somewhat business like, which I can understand.

    As we walked to the gate I again confirmed that I COULD be in an airport up to the security gate. That in fact I can carry LOADED on a private aircraft, and that how could I do that if I could not carry on an airport. Also, since this is a special event with designated gates, they would need marked no gun signs located at all entrances, that I could reasonably see. I saw none.

    Once we got outside the gate, they informed me that I would need to leave my firearm in my vehicle. I told them I was on a motorcycle with no way to secure it. He offered to store it in the trunk of his car for me!!!! I was not too thrilled about that, except my wife was in line with no money, my phone, and I had no good way to contact her.

    So, I disarmed, put my LOADED firearm in his trunk,he gave me his business card and I walked back in. I realize there is quite a bit wrong with this whole process, on their part as well as mine.

    We got our ribs, ate and were walking around when I see these same two officers bee lining it towards me. The lead officer informed me that He had talked to his supervisor and that I could in fact t have a firearm in there and that I could have my gun back. I wasn't sure if they were coming to arrest me now, or what? For some reason, not sure exactly why. I guess cause we were about as far from his car as we could get, and they were about to launch, I said we can just leave it in the trunk until we're ready to leave. We parted ways. About an hour later, I called, he answered, and then met me at his vehicle where I got my firearm back.

    Overall, it could have been worse I suppose. Maybe I should have waited at his car for the supervisor. I won't argue that I did everything the best way I could have, or should have. They were polite the entire time, I told him to stay safe the rest of the evening. It went till 11 pm, we left about 7 pm. Ride home was uneventful. Feel free to critique, I'm well aware of some things I did or allowed to happen were not maybe the best choice, in the big picture. I was somewhat caught off guard, then operating from behind the curve. It happens fast, you kinda think you are prepared, then maybe not so much. I was probably too concerned about my wife being inside. Maybe she should have gone out with me and I should have had my phone on me and recording from the start.

  2. #2
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    Thank goodness that turned out as well as it did.

    In two weeks the Death's Door BBQ competition is held at our 2P2 grass-strip without fences. The public airport is under attack for the community recently discovering its $3M liability for a toy that only a few, three or six, can benefit from. Sgt. Schultz (not Hans) is sure to be there. I will not, to SHUN ICKY.
    Last edited by Nightmare; 07-13-2015 at 08:40 AM.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with WI state law, but in terms of Federal law, you were right, they were wrong, and you should follow up with a call to the Chief so that the law can be clarified for them.

    Unless WI state law is different than most, you can carry on an airport except within the TSA secure zone and air traffic control facilities. Given that Wausau is a small airport with no tower, I'm assuming there's no commercial airline service. So that'd be everywhere.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers on cell phones do.

  4. #4
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    Education taking place. Now the officers well not make the same mistake hopefully.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    I'm not familiar with WI state law, but in terms of Federal law, you were right, they were wrong, and you should follow up with a call to the Chief so that the law can be clarified for them.

    Unless WI state law is different than most, you can carry on an airport except within the TSA secure zone and air traffic control facilities. Given that Wausau is a small airport with no tower, I'm assuming there's no commercial airline service. So that'd be everywhere.
    I agree. I will call the Department later today. I checked this over pretty well and decided that as long as I saw no signs at the gate I would walk in OC. I had on a tucked in Hawaiian flowery shirt, which I could have pulled out and concealed if I wanted to. No leather, you would NOT of made me as a biker, tho that is all really irrelevant. There were two unarmed auxillary officers at the the gate on either side, I'm sure they saw me. We were barely inside and stopped walking when I was approached. It crossed my mind to talk to them on the way in, but I shouldn't have to. I'm sure they would have told me no firearms, and it would have started there. The two officers I talked to were the only two armed police I saw, but there were aux officers all over, watching parking and as crossing guards.

    No one mentioned my firearm. There was a family of five standing directly behind me in line. Either they were not concerned, or they didn't notice. Kids are kinda eye level with you waist, seem to notice and be inquisitive, I wouldn't really say afraid for this most part.

    Wausau is a small airport. Mostly private a few corporation e planes. I had not been there before. I've carried into Central Wisconsin Airport quite a few times with no issues, tho you never know if maybe no one noticed?
    Last edited by Wstar425; 07-13-2015 at 10:54 AM.

  6. #6
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    Just got off the phone with a Lt. at the Wausau Police Dept. manning the complaint line. He was aware of the incident. I made it clear that I was NOT filing a complaint, only suggesting possibly some further training regarding airport laws and firearms. He said it was a pretty specific situation, there were lots of laws, they could not know them all, and that particular officer got some further training when he talked to his super, and then came and found me and said I could have my firearm back. I took notes!!!

    I said yes there are lots of laws, but it's your job to enforce the law and how can you do that if you don't know the laws. He said I can't argue with you, this will be covered at some length in the future.

    We had a nice chat, we was a former Firearms Instructor and asked me why I chose to Open Carry instead of Conceal. I think we could probably be pretty good friends, he said he was all for 2A rights but did not like to give up the tactical advantage. Haha! I've been honing this argument for a while now over at SigTalk.com, so I was kinda ready for him.

    Here briefly was my response.

    A little bit of a lot of reasons.

    I don't believe I should have to pay a fee for the priviledge of exercising a right, so in Wisconsin that means open carry.

    I am a tucked in shirt guy and I have elected to open carry instead of changing th way I dress.

    Open carry is the simplest, fastest, easiest, most convenient way of accessing my weapon, should I need it. Why do you guys open carry?

    I believe that most CC advocates/anti OC people can not see themselves in the role of a victim. They believe that their heightened sense of awareness would never allow that, and that they see someone else as the victim, and they come to the rescue using thier tactical advantage of CC as an offensive weapon to do good. That's fine, I have no issue with CC or NoC, I only ask the same. However, if you put CC into the shape of a victim, it becomes not tactical advantage, possibly even a liability.

    Open carry on the other hand, I have no intentions of inserting myself into the role of a savior. My firearm is strictly a last line of defense, no other options, **** hits the fan defensive move. My first concern is my safety, then my family or immediate party. I may possibly go to someone's defense after my family is secure, but that is not my job. They are responsible for their own safety. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part, I know that seems kind of cruel and unbrave maybe. Ok. Not brave. Not scared either. Trying to be smart.

    Open carry lets the good guy look at me and quickly determine if I am a threat to them. Hopefully not. It lets the bad guy look at me and determine if I am suitable material for a good victim. Hopefully not. They can choose some other unarmed person for that role, possibly they chose a CC person, then they get to use their tactical advantage. I would prefer not to be a victim, nor need my tactical advantage. Obviously, if some group of armed professionals, or a mob, target me for my firearm I have a problem. So does the CC guy or no carry guy. I try not to get in that situation.

    He listened politely to all that, said he could see some sense in some of that, but did not want to give up the tactical advantage. So, in reality, he didn't listen or didn't think about it too hard. Maybe he will later. Doubt it. We thanked each other, I said I enjoyed the conversation, reiterated that I was not filing a formal complaint and we said goodbye. I consider that the end of it.

    They only launched one balloon, due to the wind.

    As they say:

    There are bold pilots and there are old pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.

  7. #7
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    Education can be a slow process hopefully you did some educating.

    Making people think and realize there is a different point of view can go a longs ways in helping them learn the errors of their ways.
    Last edited by Firearms Iinstuctor; 07-13-2015 at 06:05 PM.
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    A high probability the Lt regrets asking why.

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