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Man calls rifle in Phoenix airport 'political statement'

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Updated: 8/05 11:12 am
By Gia Vang
NBC News

PHOENIX — An Arizona man who carried his AR-15 into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport says he has made his political point and won't do it again.

Dr. Peter Steinmetz, a director at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, addressed the media on Monday for the first time since the July 25 incident. Steinmetz sparked national debate after toting his weapon while purporting to be on a coffee run at the airport.
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That act itself is not illegal, but Steinmetz was arrested on suspicion of two counts of disorderly conduct after the gun's muzzle reportedly faced toward and frightened a woman and her daughter, according to Phoenix police.

His demonstration, he said, was stationed at the airport to underline the stark contrast between society's liberties and the point where they erode.

"On one side of a line of the floor, in the shopping area, we are relatively free, and can safely keep and bear arms," he said. "On the other side of that line we have the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), a large federal bureaucracy which completely disarms people and subjects them to gross invasions of privacy simply because those people want to travel somewhere."
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