Dr. Peter Steinmetz recalled asking his family if they thought it was a good idea to leave for the airport with an AR-15 rifle threw over his shoulder sometime in July.
“‘I’m thinking of doing this. What do you think?'” the Valley man asked. “And they were like, ‘Do you think you’ll be arrested?’ And we said, ‘No, I don’t think that’s very probable.'”
Dr. Steinmetz said he was at the air terminal openly displaying his rifle to make a point about freedom. In so doing, he said he exercised his constitutional civil rights by displaying it for everyone to see.
According to Steinmetz, he doesn’t think the irrational fears of others have some sort of precedence over what we’re allowed to do, however it did on that day. He also added that he walked for 10 to 15 minutes around the airport terminal before being noticed by the police.
“I actually never pointed that gun at anyone. I was very conscientious in my handling of the weapon to make sure it was never pointed in anyone’s direction,” Steinmetz said.
The Police officers said something else. They blamed Steinmetz for guiding his weapon at a mother and her young girl. He was arrested and sent into the Maricopa County Jail.
According to Dr. Steinmetz’s lawyer Marc Victor, The case was more about activism and politics than it ever was about a criminal case. He never felt there was any criminal offense on the case. Steinmetz added that he didn’t think there’s any rational reason for a fear there. “I think we’ve been conditioned by media to think there’s reason for a fear.”
What he meant was about the loaded weapons being carried openly in public places. When asked if he would walk in the street of Newtown, CT, with an AR-15 threw over his shoulder. He said, “I think if it was legal, “I’d have to think about that one a bit more.”
Charges against Steinmetz were eventually dropped by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. He consented to never carry a weapon openly in a Maricopa County Airport for the following two years.