Man with handgun seeking Gov. Tony Evers arrested at Wisconsin Capitol, returns later with assault rifle

MADISON, Wis. — A man illegally brought a handgun into the Wisconsin Capitol, demanding to see Gov. Tony Evers, and returned at night with an assault rifle after posting bail, a spokesperson for the state said Thursday.

The man, who was shirtless and had a holstered handgun, approached the governor’s office on the first floor of the Capitol around 2 p.m. Wednesday, state Department of Administration spokesperson Tatyana Warrick said. The man was demanding to see the governor, who was not in the building at the time, Warrick said.

A Capitol police officer sits at a desk outside of a suite of rooms that includes the governor’s office, conference room and offices for the attorney general.

The man was taken into custody for openly carrying a firearm in the Capitol, which is against the law, Warrick said. Weapons can be brought into the Capitol if they are concealed and the person has a valid permit. The man arrested did not have a concealed carry permit, Warrick said.

The man was taken into custody for openly carrying a firearm in the Capitol, which is against the law, Warrick said. Weapons can be brought into the Capitol if they are concealed and the person has a valid permit. The man arrested did not have a concealed carry permit, Warrick said.

The incident is just the latest in a series of violent threats against public officials.

Evers, a Democrat, was on a hit list of a gunman suspected of fatally shooting a retired county judge at his Wisconsin home in 2022. Others on that list included Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot in 2020.

Warrick said no immediate changes to security in the Capitol or for the governor were planned. The public has free access to the Capitol daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are no metal detectors.

 

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