Man who carried rifle into Sky Harbor reacts to Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-07 06:49:04-05

Does Arizona have it right when it comes to guns and security at the airport? 

Remember the man, who made his opinion loud and clear, by staging a protest at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport? Police arrested Dr. Peter Steinmetz at the airport two years ago after he showed up with an AR-15 rifle on his shoulder. 

After the Fort Lauderdale attack, he said it's better to have an armed Good Samaritan, like himself, around who can fight back. 

In July 2014, Steinmetz was arrested inside Terminal 4 after a woman claimed that he pointed a rifle at her and her daughter. He said that he was just setting his gun down. He said he brought the gun to the airport for “political purposes” and to show that responsible and peaceful Americans can lawfully bring a gun, even an assault rifle, into an airport.

It is legal for people to have a gun in the pre-security areas of the airport, it's state law, but that's not the case everywhere. It's illegal to have guns at pre-security areas in Florida airports. There's a bill in the Florida Senate that would change that. 

Steinmetz believes people should be allowed to carry their weapons, opened or concealed, before security checkpoints at the airport. He said Friday's shooting in Florida doesn't change his opinion. 

"In fact, I think it demonstrates rather effectively the importance of people being able to carry property, essentially firearms to be able to defend themselves," Steinmetz said. 

Steinmetz took a plea deal to avoid charges, but the deal kept him from openly carrying at local airports for two years, and those two years are now up.