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Open carry in Oconomowoc sparks emotional debate

May 21, 2014 9:22 a.m. | An ordinance amendment that would allow for the open carry of firearms in municipal parks was passed at first reading at an emotionally charged common council meeting on Tuesday, May 20.

Police Chief Dave Beguhn requested that local ordinance 9.02(a) be amended after a review of state law revealed that the city’s ban on the activity was unenforceable.

“We need to be consistent with the state statutes,” he said. “I am here to enforce the statutes and ordinances that are current law.”

Two residents spoke in favor of the amendment. Pete Holmes told the council he was a former police officer who carried a firearm every day for his current job.

“I ask that you look at this closely,” Holmes said. “Follow the state laws, look at responsible people who hold firearms, rather than the individuals who commit crimes...”

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