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

Categories: Guns

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Attorney Marc Victor (left) and Peter Steinmetz (right).
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."

See also:
-Peter Nathan Steinmetz, Barrow Brain Scientist, Arrested at Airport With AR-15
-Barrow Neurological Institute Puts Peter Steinmetz, AR-15-Toting Doctor, On Leave

Reporters and TV cameras packed the small lobby of attorney Marc Victor's southeast Valley office on Monday at 3 p.m. for the highly anticipated comments by Steinmetz, who until then hadn't said why he had a semi-automatic rifle at the airport.

Wearing a blue suit with an American flag pin on the lapel, Steinmetz pulled out a piece of paper and read from a prepared statement.

Calling himself a "peaceful political activist," Steinmetz explained in his statement that his display of the AR-15 at Terminal Four of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was "entirely political in nature."

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Surveillance video still of Steinmetz at Sky Harbor on July 25.
The demonstration, if that's what it was, follows his previous open-carry display at the airport back in November, in which he and his son were confronted by police as they waited with their rifles for Steinmetz's wife to arrive on a flight. Steinmetz told cops they were showing their weapons as a way to protest the Transportation Security Administration and its "strip-searching" of Americans. It also followed a post on his Google Plus account in which he seems to sympathize with a man who shot and killed a TSA agent at the Los Angeles International Airport on November 1.

The Barrow institute, saying last week it took the July 25 incident "very seriously," suspended Steinmetz from his job as principal investigator of the institute's "Neuroengineering/Human Neurophysiology Laboratory," also called the Brain Modeling Laboratory, a title he's held since 2008.

Steinmetz's entire statement follows:


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153 comments
Lucia Perry
Lucia Perry

People are already nervous at the airport, for various reasons, not the least of which is hijacking. Displaying an obvious weapon in public is meant to be Provocative. This is also bad manners. When I was in France 8 years ago, there were many types of police. One kind was stationed all over the train station, Gar du Norde, big muscular men with bullet proof vests, dogs, automatic weapons, etc. I wondered if something really bad was happening. Even though these were "good guys with guns"I was glad to leave quickly.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

Put this moron in prison where he belongs.



Daniel Riley
Daniel Riley

Exactly. I own firearms, but I don't feel the need to "make a statement" with them. That's not only counterproductive - it's just stupid.

Lyman Smith
Lyman Smith

I'm not anti-gun nor am I the type of supporter of the 2nd amendment who thinks regulatory practices and such somehow undermine the ability to defend yourself. I totally get why people think we should have more background checks and other reasonable practices that act as a potential fail safe. I think there are many people like this dude who shouldn't have a slingshot never mind a gun. I also think that any place the avg joe feels carrying will make them safer is more likely to die driving or commuting than from someone if they didn't carry. The NRA is garbage. Any group who has money in politics to this degree (same with tobacco and others ) are doing everyone a disservice regardless of your views. They act in bad taste and honestly I personally wouldn't want them being associated with myself. It's an embarrassment to everyone. Pro or anti anything...don't let groups be the face of your opinions. They represent their interests first and foremost as does most political groups and parties. If they are so "responsible" and "respectful" of firearms they wouldn't protest shootings and be generally shitty and ignorant and dismissive of anyone who doesn't share their opinion. The biggest feature of this country isn't it's guns, it is that people can have differing opinions and hopefully rational conversation about it.

Phil Razzi
Phil Razzi

He didnt handle the firearm properly I feel. He is kind of a moron too. Not someone I want watching my back with a loaded gun.

Tony Hussey
Tony Hussey

Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Bad choice, Bonehead.

David Vance
David Vance

Je aleady has done it again...this was the second time he has done it!

IceSperg
IceSperg

The country and its current climate of anti-gun nonsense, has created a state of paranoia where even the lawful carry of a firearm can result in an erroneous arrest. Peter Steinmetz is a good man and will be vindicated. By hiring Marc Victor, he will be represented by an activist attorney who is well versed in defending freedom.



Cris Cross
Cris Cross

Too bad he F-d it up just like all those idiots do.

Francisco Cortez
Francisco Cortez

These are the morons that Jan Brewer and the NRA don't want going through background checks or even having them register their weapons. *smh

Pete Gonzalez
Pete Gonzalez

If a man of color would have pulled that stunt he would have been shot dead the moment he was seen with his weapon.

Michelle Bradley
Michelle Bradley

Myself, I have no problem with TSA to the point of where there is a consistent security policy across all of the airports. Back in the old days when airports contracted out the work to Wackenhut and other companies, there were a lot of inconsistencies. Some of those inconsistencies lead to the 9-11 attacks. I feel that the TSA has gone too far with the backscatter, pat-downs, and the harassment of disabled and transgender passengers, but overall, we need a consistent security policy no matter which airport you are at.

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

This loser should be convicted of the felonies, and lose his right to possess firearms forever.



wherewasi
wherewasi topcommenter

Dr./Mr. Steinmetz: Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD! Shame on you and your irresponsible behavior. Your plan back-fired in a BIG way!

Bryan Jorgenson Wallis Hardie
Bryan Jorgenson Wallis Hardie

No one in their right mind would risk their reputation and professional standing by doing something so stupid, he is not in his right mind.

Jeff Kee
Jeff Kee

This is a sign of mental illness. Mark Victor is such a dirty ambulance chaser. Fundamentalist is a social disease.

rh19541954
rh19541954

I do not have a college degree, but a meager high school diploma! And even with my meager education I know that taking a rifle, pistol to a airport in these modern times is a quick way to go to jail! Now this fellow might be claiming political defense but my guess is he is singing in the wind!

Ron Hust
Ron Hust

What an idiot. There is no way I would trust him as a doctor with reasoning like his!

Robert Johnston
Robert Johnston

I get what he was doing, but IMO the right way to do it is to inform Police that you will be doing a 'constitutional carry' demonstration & take the firearm without the magazine & have a zip tie through the chamber like you would at a gunshow. Carry a concealed pistol (if legal) if you feel you need it. Meet with the Officers outside prior to doing your demonstration and let them inspect the weapon and check your i.d. (even though it's not required). Then do your constitional carry. We're better than ACT-UP, Code Pink & other "in your face" demonstrators and we should act like it. He's got a good attorney in Marc Victor that's for sure.

Lloyd Thomas
Lloyd Thomas

Your comment would appeal to a larger audience with a word change. But it's your call.

Wanda Jeannie Casillas
Wanda Jeannie Casillas

If he justifies a chambered round with "the police do it" then he also needs to practice the fact police are not supposed to un-holster or un-shoulder a firearm unless facing a combatant, not even for coffee. At the very least , he's a moron who can't properly handle a firearm and makes those of us who do look bad.

Paul Wetzel
Paul Wetzel

I know that my words aren't always nice.

Paul Wetzel
Paul Wetzel

You are fully qualified to judge me based on one Facebook comment. I will take your opinion into consideration whenever I make any decisions in my life from this day forward.

Virgil Dunn
Virgil Dunn

You were all already assholes to begin with.

B Thomas Cooper
B Thomas Cooper

Who are we kidding? This guy is the poster child for why some people shouldn't be allowed to carry guns anywhere they feel like...

Lloyd Thomas
Lloyd Thomas

I don't think he intended to or consciously pointed the rifle at anyone. Wish he'd left it slung over his shoulder or better yet in the car or at home. He could have made the same point in an aloha shirt and an empty pistol holder with the bottom 3 or 4 inches showing. I think actions like this happen when true believers only talk to true believers and don't get a reality check by bouncing their ideas off others.

Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider

Did he say that or did his lawyer say that? I don't trust anyone who immediately hires a lawyer. Maybe the man who carries around an AR-15 in public needs to grow some balls and stop hiding behind lawyers.

Lloyd Thomas
Lloyd Thomas

Paul Wetzel Personally I'd right-click to edit and substitute flakes for the term you used, but agree with your point.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

I get the feeling that a lot of other people besides (ironically) "flyer" believe that:

It takes a special kind of idiot to NOT know that guns are not allowed on Airport property


It's just that misconception that this guy was trying to correct.  It's perfectly legal.  The people have that right (in Arizona all but a handful of other states).

He didn't have the right to handle his rifle carelessly in public, of course.

marcy
marcy

@SpottedDick


Are you looking forward to the thought police locking people up for crimethink?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@SpottedDick 

For what crime, exactly?

You can't lock somebody up for lacking common sense or even for carelessly handling his firearm, since nobody was actually at serious risk.

 

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

Should stupid people be allowed to possess firearms?

Hock
Hock

@IceSperg Steimetz and Victor are both libertarian wingnuts.  I'm surprised Kielsky didn't photo bomb the event.  All the crazies can share a headline.

marcy
marcy

Darn right, if only he had to register that weapon this never would have happened.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Then you wouldn't want ValleyNative to even check the air pressure of your tires!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@SpottedDick 

The problem comes when we have to trust somebody to decide who is too stupid to exercise Constitutional rights.  Stupid people are allowed to vote.  The courts have ruled that they can't be required to be able to read or write or to answer any basic questions about the candidates or even how government works.  There's certainly no background check required to register, and stupid people voting are arguably more dangerous to society than stupid people owning guns.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@WhoKnows 

But you're having a hard time arguing with me.  The fact that you resort to off-topic insults suggests just how lost you are.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @valleynative 

You mean you didn't say:


It takes a special kind of idiot to NOT know that guns are not allowed on Airport property except in specific circumstances and with specific precautions.

Because I'm really, really sure you did. But, if you're absolutely certain that you were really calling me a special kind of idiot for saying something that we can all see that I never actually said, well then, I guess I won't bother to dispute you.


Have a nice day.

 

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