Two Aprils ago, Auric Gold of Madison had a first meeting with about 10 other activists in the state to discuss open carry of handguns, then a nascent movement mostly confined to Internet forums.
“We were thinking it was time to jumpstart it,” the former state equal-rights officer said.
Little did they expect that, the next day, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen would issue an opinion affirming a legal green light to law-abiding gun owners to carry their weapons openly in most public places.
“That kind of changed everything,” Gold said. “It provided a huge boost to the movement.”
More people joined the activist group, Wisconsin Carry, Inc., and more people have taken to wearing their weapons in public, be it out for a walk, watching a parade, at a picnic — or, as at an East Side Culver’s this month, at dinner with friends.
That meal — part of a series of open carry events in public places organized by the group — led to a confrontation between five armed men and police.