Thread: Madison Hempfest 2010
Since the following thread got locked
I created this thread to post my OPEN CARRY experience in Madison on Oct. 1-3.
On my way down to Madison, I stopped at Moe's Hardware in Black River Falls and bought a PT145. I then went to Kwik Trip, McDonalds, and Wal-Mart before getting back on I-94. No issue as always. On the onramp, I picked up a hitchhiker on his way to Kalamazoo MI, so I did not stop again until I dropped him off at the McFarland exit on I-90. I had to come back up as my hotel was in the East Towne area. I got checked in and headed to the first venue of the weekend. I got to The Frequency about a half late, the band was still not set up. There really were not many people there. So I decided that I wanted to check out State St. I went to my car and holstered up. I started from the corner of W. Main and S. Henry and walked down Henry to State St. I turned on to State St. and headed west. There were already several squad cars on State St. and there were busy. I had walked past all the squads, and then all of a sudden I see the bumper of a squad come up onto the sidewalk out of my right side peripheral. I thought, “OH NO, HERE WE GO”. I went about as if I saw nothing for about twenty feet. I looked across the street to use my peripheral to look back. The squad was just finishing a Y-turn. Boy, was I relieved. As I observed MPD on State St. throughout the weekend, most will do Y-turn and go back up rather than go around the block and I understand, with all the one way streets, you cannot simply just go around the block. I spent about 1 ½ hours on State St. shopping. I went into various clothing, music, book, coffee and novelty shops. When I was done, I walked back down Fairchild to W. Main to my car. I dropped off my purchases and unholstered and went back to The Frequency. I listened to the band until they were done. I then went to the 2nd venue for Friday at the High Noon Saloon, which is a very nice establishment. I was early and the band was still setting up. My sinuses were really bothering me, so I decided just go back to the hotel. I wanted to pick up a couple of things that I forgot to pack, so I used my DROID to locate a Wal-Mart on Nakoosa Trail just off Hwy 51 near Hwy 30, that was not far from my hotel . I got there and went in. I was pleased to see a Subway and decided to get a sub. As the Subway employee was slicing open the bun, instead of asking me if I want it toasted, he asked, “Are you security”? I said no. He then asked “Are you a cop?” I bet what he really wanted to ask me is if I was INS. I said, “No, I am just a law abiding citizen open carrying which is protected by our state and federal Constitution.” Then he asks me if I want it toasted. There was no further discussion, except about what I wanted on my sub. I was not feeling well and really was not in the mood for conversation. I got my sub and did my shopping in Wal-Mart. When I was heading up to the checkout, I notice one of the younger female clerks looking straight at me with eyes that were going to pop out of her head. I don’t know if it was fear or animosity, but I decided it best not to go through her checkout line so I went to another. She kept staring at me all the way out of the store. When I walked out of the store, there was a MPD squad car sitting right there by the door with an officer inside it. I paused, looked over the parking lot to see if I can spot my car. I turned my head back to the officer and nodded an acknowledgement to that officer and then I walked past the squad, directly in front of it, out into the parking lot. Shortly after I passed the squad, it proceeded slowly out of the Wal-Mart parking lot and went over to Cub Foods and parked, in a fashion that I would can strategic. I realized that I forgot AAA batteries, so I went back in. The same clerk was staring at me. I again checked out at a different checkout line. Once outside, I could see the squad was still sitting over at Cub Foods. When I left Wal-Mart, I went over to the gas station that is across from Cub Foods. I sat there in my car for a short while as I am pretty loyal to Kwik Trip, so I tried to find one my DROID. Too far north. So, I decided to just get back to the hotel and worry about getting gas tomorrow. When I left the gas station, I did not see the squad follow me like the Hallie PD did back in March.
Saturday morning , my phone was dead. It would not take a charge, so I went to Verizon in the East Towne area. It was a problem with the charger, not the phone, so they gave me a new charger. I them went back to the hotel to shower and get my continental breakfast waffle. Before I went down to Library Mall, I stopped at that Wal-Mart again. No issue.
I did not carry down at Library Mall on UW-Madison Campus, not because under UWS 18.10(3) - UW Administrative Code, I could be fined up to $500 dollars. That’s definitely not it. I did not want to give LEO any reason to come into an environment that they were currently just ‘observing’.
Any time I left Library Mall, I holstered up. Once, I went up to Fair Trade Coffee to get a hot cocoa and do a little more shopping on State St., I walked within 5 feet of several MPD officers, but their attention was on one individual, and that individual was not me.
Saturday night, I went to the scheduled venue which was at the Majestic Theatre. I did have one beer. I listened to the music for a while and was just not getting into it. So I decided to go outside and walk around the city. I did not carry, because of a BAC concern. I knew I was legal to drive, but to carry a firearm, I don’t enough about the legality. In WI, its not clear like MN .04 BAC limit. Being unarmed, I really felt vulnerable. Although I lived in Eau Claire until 1991, I have lived in rural Trempealeau County since then. After I walked around the capital area for awhile, I drove back to the hotel and went to bed.
Sunday morning, went for my continental breakfast waffle. I did not mention this before, but this hotel s breakfast area is not big enough for the number of rooms it has. It was kind of crowded. This is the one time I was concerned someone might get ‘disturbed’. But no one seemed concerned either morning.
After eating breakfast in my room, I packed up and headed for Library Mall. There was a lot going in the area of State St. There was a run/walk going on. There were fire trucks lined up all along N. Lake St. I got an early start and wanted to do some walking around. But first, I had to go to Library Mall and get my audio recorder. The day before I left it with a vendor that makes necklces and bracelts using hemp. She was making me a custom necklace with the audio recorder built in. After I got it, I went to my car an holstered up, the I walked all the way up State St. and got a map from a visitors information booth. I did some more daylight walking around the capital area. I did walk past a Capital officer, but his attention was on overseeing the loading of a truck onto a flatbed tow truck. When I was done and heading back to my car to upholster, I walked past A LOT of firemen in uniform. I quite a few looked at me, but they did not say anything. I felt ‘in awe’ walking by them. Then I went back to Library Mall before the music started. Right away I was a man in the crowd wearing a LEAP t-shirt. LEAP stands for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. I walked straight up to him and shook his hand. We talked for quite awhile and ended up exchanging contact information. I gave him the only Wisconsin Carry pamphlet I handed out all weekend. I expect he will show up on this forum soon.
Before the march on the capital was to begin, I went to my car and holstered up and walked around State St. until they began. I could have easily walked with them , but I stayed up on the sidewalk as a spectator walking with them. IF MPD was waiting for this moment to harass and violate my rights, hoping to find contraband with a weapon enhancer, I did not want the media to spin it negatively on this event. The march was quite impressive. There was a band set up on the step of the Capital. There was only 6 Capital officers on site. I was quite a while before any of the Capital officers noticed that I was OC. I was down on the sidewalk, leaning against a lamp post, listening to the speakers, when one of them came and stood behind me for a awhile, but not interaction. The event ran out of time, but the capital officers kindly extended the permit. When it was all done, I was walking around picking up any litter that I could find. Most of the people were already gone and I walked to and fro, several times in close proximity with the officers. They had every opportunity to notice. One of the Officers approached me and thanked me for picking up. When I was done, I met back up with my friend from LEAP. He asked me right away, “Did he ask you about your firearm?” I said, “No, he just thanked me for picking up litter.” He responded kind of astonished, “Really, cuz he sure was looking at it”. All in all, it was a good weekend.
I am really not surprised that Madison PD did not approach me to ID me. If you think about it, several people say that LE observe this forum. I am sure after the Madison 5 incident, the MPD surely does. Before the Madison 5 incident, I posted that I was going to be in Madison for this event and was going to Open Carry, so they definitely had opportunity to ID me before I ever arrived.
Anywho, I would be curious to know if anyone did take Noble Wray up on his request to call MPD. I am sure someone did at Wal-Mart.
Last edited by BROKENSPROKET; 10-04-2010 at 09:50 PM.
Nice report BROKENSPROKET. Sounds like you had a great time!
Thanks for the detailed post. Glad to hear you didn't have any issues. If you wouldn't mind, send me a PM after you've broken in that PT145, it's one I've been considering.
Well done and no charge for all the educating.
Spartacus, I see you post got completely deleted. I did not think it was offensive. OFF TOPIC, but not offensive in the least.
Being off and on the same street so many times in a given day. Do the officers ever wonder. Hey that guy walked past 30min ago and he had a PT145, now he's back and his guns missing. Hour later back with the pistol on your hip?
The idea is to have an empty holster on and when they comment about it start saying stuff like "OMG! OMG! where is it! It was there a minute ago!"
Anyway, I thought better of it. It still makes me chuckle when it comes to mind though.
Lex malla, lex nulla
I don't know that the Madison PD ever saw me on State St. or any other. The point was that all the people that may have saw me did not get 'disturbed'.
The ONLY time they would have seen an emtpy holster was at Library Mall. Except the venues that sold alcohal for consumption and I did not have to walk more than a block from my car empty holster.
Last edited by BROKENSPROKET; 10-05-2010 at 05:18 PM.
Last edited by BROKENSPROKET; 10-05-2010 at 05:21 PM.
Been thinking more about your experience at the hemp festival last weekend, BROKENSPROKET, and wanted to expand a bit on my original reply.
My personal opinion...based on the lack of any incidents with the police or regular citizens, the one officer that thanked you for cleaning up (who made no mention of the fact that you were OCing), and the rest of your non-eventful weekend in general, it sounds like you represented Open Carry pretty well...especially considering the nature of the festival and the (more than) reasonable expectation that the police might be looking for any reason to force an issue with either the festival or someone OCing or both.
I am still waiting to hear how you like the PT145, though...