Steven Verburg, Wisconsin State Journal
Two members of the Wisconsin Legislature are asking Gogebic Taconite to remove masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms from the mining company’s site in the Penokee Hills forest.
Photos of the guards surfaced over the weekend on the websites of mine opponents.
Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, said Monday the guards are from Bulletproof Securities, an Arizona company that boasts a “no compromises security force.”
“I’m appalled,” Jauch said. “There is no evidence to justify their presence.”
Jauch said he was especially concerned that the guards are carrying high-powered rifles more appropriate for fighting wars than for guarding construction equipment in a scenic forest that draws scores of hikers and vacationers in addition to mine protesters.
“Do they have the authority to use those weapons? If so, on who?” Jauch said. “I don’t know if there’s a hunting season right now except maybe for rabbit, but you shoot a rabbit with that, all you’ll end up with is fur. What would you use those weapons for except to hurt somebody?”