SHEBOYGAN (AP) – A gun rights activist showed up at first lady Tonette Walker’s visit to Sheboygan with an AK-47 strapped to his back to make a point that it’s legal to openly carry a licensed firearm in Wisconsin.
The Sheboygan Press Media reported Bill Polster also had a Glock and Ruger pistol hanging from his waist.
“At first people were a little concerned and then very quickly found out that he was very gentlemanly and civil,” said Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce executive director Betsy Alles. “Some of the walkers started to ask him questions, and he answered very kindly. I don’t think people were concerned after that. I think it posed a dilemma at first, but everything worked out fine.”
Police Sgt. David Anderson said no extra security measures were taken.
Walker visited Sheboygan as part of her Walk with Walker campaign to showcase the state’s scenic areas.
Polster joined the walk after he put his weapons in his car’s trunk.
“People have the right to self-defense and there are so many people that don’t realize that carrying a weapon is legal in Wisconsin,” Polster said.
Polster has become a recognizable fixture in the region, showing up at farmers’ markets, parades and movie theaters.
Polster told a Sheboygan Press reporter that people are more interested in the small GoPro camera he mounts on his head than his weapons. He uses the camera to record reactions he gets, then posts videos online. He says he is making the point that people aren’t afraid of him.
Polster started openly carrying guns after a man was killed in a Walmart parking lot in 2012.
“I’ve never needed to use my firearms… but if someone comes in and robs a gas station when I’m in there and I don’t have my firearm, they’re not going to let me call a timeout to get my firearm,” Polster said. “It’s kind of useless if you don’t have it with you.”