Doctor not charged for bringing AR-15 into Phoenix Airport

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will not be prosecuting doctor Peter Steinmetz, the man who openly carried an AR-15 into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport back in July, provided he doesn’t violate the terms of his agreement.

Steinmetz, a director at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, is indeed a gun-rights advocate.

“I certainly didn’t intend to commit a crime; I did not commit a crime,” Steinmetz told AZ Central. “I think the important point that was made is that, in fact, as Americans, we have a non-infringeable right to keep and bear arms and that you can legally do so at Sky Harbor Airport.”

The doctor’s attorney backed him up, saying that allegations of Steinmetz pointing his firearm at airport patrons were baseless according to video surveillance.

“He didn’t go there with the intent of disturbing anybody’s peace,” said Marc Victor, the doctor’s attorney. “He wasn’t aware of disturbing anybody’s peace. And he never recklessly displayed a firearm.”

“To charge him with a crime when he didn’t commit a crime would be outrageous,” Victor said. “And so it’s a fair and reasonable result because it doesn’t put any kind of requirements that are onerous on my client.”

Under the terms of the “pre-indictment resolution offer” that Steinmetz signed he must complete an NRA-certified course by the end of March 2015, refrain from carrying openly in the airport for the next two years, donate $500 to the Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club Youth Program.

However, Steinmetz is not prohibited from carrying concealed in the public square, including places like the airport.

Overall, Steinmetz believes he did the right thing by exercising his Second Amendment rights.

“I think it was a worthwhile endeavor, and I think it has made the point fairly powerful,” Steinmetz said.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Minh November 10, 2014, 7:40 am

    Well with all those agreements he had agreed on, he was charged and settled. If you don’t ower money to a collection agency, why settle? The doctor didn’t win crap.

    • DaveGinOly November 10, 2014, 2:14 pm

      I’ve got to agree. He acquiesced to penalties to avoid being prosecuted. Frankly, the prosecution wouldn’t have stood up.
      Here’s what I’d do now – I’d sue the county for distraint and violation of my constitutionally-protected right to bear arms. Because the agreement was made under distraint (threat), there is no legal consent. (“Consent” or “agreement,” in order to be legally enforceable, must be made freely and without distraint.)
      I realize government regularly enters into “agreements” with citizens over legal matters, but usually the citizen is happy to plea to a lesser charge to escape greater punishment. In this situation, if the good doctor believes he did nothing wrong, then he made an agreement to be punished without benefiting from receiving a lesser punishment, because there is no punishment for not breaking a law. So while real malefactors get a benefit, and won’t complain that their agreements were made under distraint, the doctor was distrained for having done nothing wrong – plainly he did not actually benefit (legally) from the agreement.

  • John November 6, 2014, 7:37 pm

    Wow. Nice. Unfortunately i don’t think this would have been the same story if the good doctor had tried this at another airport NOT in Arizona. Way to go Dr. Ballzy!

    • Shawn November 10, 2014, 5:10 am

      Hey John! The guy works as a director at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona which means it is safe to assume he lives in the area. Was he supposed to drive thousands of miles to another airport to make his stand? That would strike me as a bit unreasonable. Nice FAIL Mr. Dipstick!

      • nonobaddog November 10, 2014, 9:04 am

        I think you are missing the point – like “whoosh”. Forget driving. If this were at O’Hare they would probably have shot him first and then covered it up until it blew over.

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