Open Carry Accepted in Milwaukee

By Dean Weingarten

William Polster on a Open Carry Walk
William Polster on a Open Carry Walk
Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( On 17 May 2014, I attended a gun turn in event in urban Milwaukee.  The neighborhood is known for its high crime rate.

One of the first things that I noticed was a person openly carrying a holstered handgun, who marched with those calling for an end to unjustified shootings.

That was a special occasion, and one focused on guns.  A few days later, on Memorial day, I took a picture of a young man openly carrying at a busy McDonald’s in Hayward, Wisconsin.   A commenter, “Secret Agent Man” on, one of the sites it was published on, mentioned that:

…a solo open carry guy in downtown milwaukee wold not get the same treatment. he’d be taken down and cuffed. and flynn’s said so.

Secret Agent Man is referring to the infamous statement of Milwaukee  Police Chief Ed Flynn, in 2009.  It shows how far reaching a police chief’s statements can be in chilling the exercise of Constitutional rights.  In 2009, before the passage of the shall issue law in Wisconsin, Chief Flynn said, as recorded on

“My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it.”

I do not know of any incidents where Chief Flynn’s “troops” carried out his threat; even a Milwaukee Police Chief seems to know when to back down.   The legislature changed the law in 2011, and it appears that police are mostly  abiding by it.  Some monetary settlements to open carriers may have helped.

William Polster openly followed the law this last weekend in Milwaukee, in a neighborhood that was the scene of tragedy only a week before, when a gunfight between suspected gang members resulted in a stray bullet hitting a 10-year-old in the head.

He walked for two hours within two blocks of the shooting, openly carrying his Glock 21 and handing out pocket constitutions.   Most people were willing to take a constitution from a stranger with a gun.  He handed out about 30 constitutions and talked with about as many.

Milwaukee resident extends hand to welcome open carrier to neighborhood.
Milwaukee resident extends hand to welcome open carrier to neighborhood.

Only one person suggested that there was a potential problem with the constitutional right to bear arms:  they were concerned with the possibility of mentally unstable people having access to firearms.   No one asked Mr. Polster to leave, no one was hostile.   While police drove by in squad cars three times, no one stopped or questioned his right to openly carry in Milwaukee.  Mr. Polster has posted his two hours of open carry to YouTube, if you wish to watch for yourself.

The unjustified homicide problem in the United States has been greatly reduced in the last 20 years.   As most of the country has embraced the “Shall issue” model of concealed carry, the unjustified homicide rate has dropped in half.  Many other factors may be involved, but the rise of carry permits, with the drop in unjustified homicide, is a startling fact for most people to find out.

The vast majority of unjustified homicides are concentrated in tiny urban areas, in a tiny subset of the population.    From the research of David Kennedy, a renowned criminal justice professor and former Harvard researcher:

 “We now know that homicide and gun violence are overwhelmingly concentrated among serious offenders operating in groups: gangs, drug crews, and the like representing under half of one percent of a city’s population who commit half to three-quarters of all murders.”

The problem with inner city urban areas is that the people there have become acculturated to not trusting the justice system.   If you look all over the globe, you see that lack of trust as the common factor in high homicide rates:  If people do not trust the system to be effective and dispense fairly reliable justice, the homicide rate soars.   Europeans in the middle ages had homicide rates in the range of those of inner city urban crime centers and  failed nations-states today.

How do you restore trust in the justice system?  Perhaps one way to do it is to hand out copies of the Constitution while graphically demonstrating that the police have to respect the limitations that it places on the government.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Why not end all the confusion about “open carry” and have all of the UNITED states have the same rights, to do it if they so choose. Why do law abiding citizens who want to self protect themselves and their families, constantly have to look over their shoulder’s as if their the bad guys, to see if were breaking or utilizing our 2nd amendment? I pray common sense prevails and we can be proud to be UNITED.


WTF people? The “divide and conquer” has begun. The NRA has apologized for their ONE PERSON who made a stupid comment about the Open Carry groups. ONE GUY! So, now some of you are all pissed at the NRA. No one can deny that the NRA has been good for gun owners and, they will continue to fight for our Second Amendment. All you are accomplishing by turning on the NRA is giving the left a better chance at achieving their goals. Is that really what you want? I seriously doubt it so, let’s work together to keep what is… Read more »


Only a total idiot would say if you don’t support the NRA you are working for bloomberg.I was a member of the NRA since 1975 until 5 days ago.I made donations to the NRA over and above membership dues too ! That all ended when the NRA insulted Texans and “LEGAL” open carry in Texas ! Then they had the audacity to blame it on a staffer after they realized they fucked up ? If you are banking on the NRA to be the salavation of law-abidding gun owners during this assault on the 2A you’re dillusional !


The country needs alot more Sheriff Clarke’s !


Maybe Sheriff Clarke assured Chief Flynn that any of “his troops” seen assaulting law abiding residents of Milwaukee would be “put to the ground” and arrested. The Sheriff has been an outspoken advocate of the individual right to self-defense and to be lawfully armed. Suppprt your local Sheriff…………..if they deserve it.


Congratulations to Milwaukee for showing common sense and supporting the 2A and the constitution.It appears there are some people that are more concerned about where they can eat,and what clothes you wear, than your constitutional rights (they prob.are NRA members)! Oh well,cosider the source !

Ken Windeler

The idiots are the gun owners dressed like slobs with their long guns hanging over their necks. The MSM poster boys for American gun owners. BTW they managed to get several corporations to ban firearms when they did not have a firearms ban policy. Brilliant.
Bad manners overrules good intentions.

The truth hurts

Any one thats anti NRA and claims to support gun rights or the constitution are working for Bloomberg.
That being said the Milwaukee police chief and Mayor are just like all the anti civil rights Democrats from the past. Pulled screaming and kicking in to a new era of freedom and equal rights guaranteed under the Constitution.


This ole boys moniker above says it all !


Texas doesn’t need the NRA and they are realizing that right about now too ! Some fools talk (legal open carry) about making “us” look bad ! They are so ignorant that they state a personal opinion and assume they speak for “us” ? Like their opinion is “us” ? Must be an NRA member ! “Texas like a whole other country” !


Thank God for the NRA….and I pray He opens the eyes of the people making us all look bad with their open-carry of long arms in TX. Their “tunnel-vision” prevents them from seeing the bigger picture and the damage they are doing our movement. As an aside, I still believe these people are Bloomberg plants and the rest follow along.


watch out Milwaukee,the NRA will say you are weird and scary ! The NRA are idiots !