Airport AR-15 Display "Entirely Political," Says Peter Steinmetz, Brain Researcher

Peter Steinmetz says he was just trying to make a political point when he brought a fully loaded AR-15 into the airport on July 25, but he won't repeat the act.

Police arrested the Barrow Neurological Institute brain researcher on suspicion of disorderly conduct with a firearm, alleging the muzzle of Steinmetz's rifle was pointed briefly at two women. No word has come from Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery about any criminal charges.

"I wanted to help educate the public and employees at the airport ... by allowing them to observe a peaceful person responsibly carrying an AR-15 while doing things that people normally do there, like waiting and drinking a coffee," Steinmetz said on Monday at his lawyer's office, adding that he was "careful to ensure my firearm was never pointed at anyone."

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern