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WATCH: Appleton farmer's market incident triggers another gun rights debate

APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - An incident in Appleton last weekend has triggered another national debate over gun rights. 

Two men openly carried AR-15 rifles and handguns as they headed to a farmer's market.

Police said they briefly detained the two men -- both in their 20's -- and let them go after they determined they were carrying their weapons legally. 

The men's encounter with police has stirred up debate on the Internet, and Wisconsin's pro and anti-gun forces weighed in with remarks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Nik Clark of the gun rights' group Wisconsin Carry says police need to follow up on gun complaints, but they must abide by people's constitutional rights. Clark said Appleton Police went beyond their authority when they pointed guns at the men and involuntarily detained them. 

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn disagrees. He said that in a, "post-Aurora-Newtown environment, it's a reckless and irresponsible stunt to strut around in public with an assault-style weapon and think police should assume you're well-intentioned." 

Flynn said the incident was absurd and had nothing to do with Second Amendment gun rights. 

One of the men told the Journal Sentinel it's too early to decide if they'll sue the police. 

Similar arrests have led to at least four lawsuit settlements in Wisconsin, in which taxpayers ended up paying those who were stopped.

 

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