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MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — Milwaukee’s police chief said he’ll go on telling his officers to take down anyone with a firearm despite Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s finding that people can carry guns openly if they do it peacefully.

Chief Ed Flynn said officers can’t assume people are carrying guns legally in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in the past two years.

He said that means officers seeing anybody carrying a gun will put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide if the person has a right to carry it.

Flynn said it’s irresponsible to send a message that if someone carries a weapon openly no one can bother them.

Van Hollen issued a memo to the state’s district attorneys this week saying someone openly carrying a gun can’t automatically be charged with disorderly conduct. But he also said police have full rights to stop and question the person.

Flynn said his officers will do more than that in their efforts to fight crime.

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