In Arizona there's nothing wrong with swaggering around with a semi-automatic weapon on your back, as long as it's not pointed at anyone.
Another day, another ammosexual. This one happens to also be a leading brain scientist by the name of Peter Nathan Steinmetz, who thought it would be a brilliant idea to not only swagger around the airport with his AR-15, but point it at a couple of people, too.
He was promptly arrested, but not for openly carrying the weapon in the airport. No, he was arrested for 'inappropriately carrying' it when stopping for coffee in a Starbucks inside the airport terminal.
It seems Steinmetz, a Tempe resident, was doing nothing wrong up until the moment he pointed the weapon inadvertently at two women in the "B"-gate waiting area. Police tell thePhoenix New Times that, in general, it's not illegal to carry a semi-automatic rifle into an airport terminal. In this case, the problem was "the way he was carrying it," says Phoenix police Sergeant Steve Martos.
After buying the coffee, Steinmetz walked to the east end of Terminal Four's third level and stopped in front of the B gates, in the "non-secure" part of the terminal.
He "then proceeded to remove the (Stag Arms) AR-15 from his right shoulder thus causing the muzzle to face two victims sitting to the right..." the booking sheet reads. "Both victims, a mother and her 17-year-old daughter, both stated they felt in fear of their safety when the rifle was pointed in their direction."
Steinmetz was taken into custody, arrested, and booked into the Maricopa County jail. Police are seeking two felony counts of disorderly conduct with a weapon.
Steinmetz pulled a similar stunt back in November, when he showed up at Sky Harbor -- two days after a fatal shooting at Los Angeles International Airport -- with a rifle and his son, who was also armed. They told police they were there merely to pick up Steinmetz's wife from the airport, Martos says. No charges were filed in that incident.
Remind me to never, ever spend any time in that airport. The whole idea of allowing people to randomly roam around with high-powered weapons on their backs near crowds of people, whether or not in the "nonsecure" part of the airport is just maddening. And terrifying.
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