Sheridan Police Department receives 27 calls regarding armed men downtown
April 27, 2023
SHERIDAN (WNE) - The Sheridan Police Department received 27 calls to dispatch Tuesday morning from concerned citizens regarding two males seen walking down Main Street, wearing what appeared to be body armor and carrying rifles in a low ready position, according to SPD Capt. Tom Ringley.
The calls began to come in at 11:33 a.m. when several community members were concerned by the men's attire and the way in which they were carrying their rifles, not slung over their shoulders but held below the waist and perpendicular to the ground in a low ready position, Ringley said.
An officer responded to the call at 11:38 a.m., advising the two armed men that open carry is legal in Wyoming, but the way in which they chose to do so was causing public alarm and could be considered a breach of peace.
According to Ringley, the two men informed the responding officer they were equipped in such a way as a demonstration of their Second Amendment rights.
"It's indicative of a balancing act in which law enforcement frequently has to adopt, weighing people's rights," Ringley said. "The First Amendment means freedom of speech, but it's a classic tale - you can't stand up in a crowded movie theater and yell 'fire.'"
The responding officer spoke with the two men for a total of six minutes, after which SPD received no more calls regarding the men for the remainder of the morning and afternoon.
This story was published on April 27, 2023.