By Andy Nelesen firstname.lastname@example.org
A picnic supporting gun rights and open carry of firearms is planned for Green Bay's west side this weekend.
Organizers will gather at noon Saturday at Ted Fritsch Park, 700 LaCount Road, for what organizer Fernando Silva Jr. calls a picnic with a purpose.
"We are trying to show the public that just because we're carrying a firearm, it does not necessarily mean that we're bad guys," Silva said Thursday. "We're people, too. We just want to show people we're not out to hurt anybody; not out to scare anybody.
"We're proud of our Second Amendment rights."
Saturday's event dovetails with the release of 10-second radio ads in the Green Bay market sponsored by http://www.opencarry
.org to promote open carry of handguns in Wisconsin.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a memo in spring that carrying a firearm in a holster is legal and does not by itself constitute disorderly conduct. Several similar open carry picnics have been held throughout the state in the wake of the memo.
Green Bay police Capt. Karl Fleury said police officers will notify the park's neighbors about the event, and the officer patrolling that part of the city will monitor the event.
City officials originally wanted to require the group to have an insurance policy and a special events permit. The city relented on the insurance, but mandated the group have a special event permit for the gathering, Silva said.
The City Attorney's office did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday or Thursday.
Fleury said police have talked with organizers to ensure they were aware of all the appropriate regulations.
"They know the policies and procedures," Fleury said.
Participants must transport their weapons to the park in a locked trunk, keep the weapons exposed while wearing them and cannot unholster the firearms
. Armed persons must secure their weapons before using any public facilities, including the park shelter's bathroom.
"The parties cannot go into any public facilities armed," Fleury said. "That's considered a public facility."