Prescott business upset at rejection from Phoenix Fourth of July celebration due to gun theme

Posted at 11:17 PM, Jul 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 02:17:36-04

A Prescott businessman was told he couldn't participate in the Fabulous Phoenix 4th celebration because his game booth glorifies guns.

Prescott Pete's Highfalutin Shooting Gallery says it offers a fun history lesson about the Wild West, from its use of historically significant characters to replicas of Arizona's official state gun.

Owner Pete Fowler says even after being encouraged to sign up for a booth by the City of Phoenix, his application was denied over fears it would offend people.

Quoting an email from the city, Fowler read, "The City of Phoenix is very conscious about the perception of violence given the current climate."

Fowler says he's the one who is offended and believes it's an overreaction to a fun take on Arizona's past.

"You shoot the boots and they dance, we're not shooting people" said Fowler.

He says the letter came well before the mass shooting in Orlando, and his business made the decision not to open when that happened out of respect.

While it's a big loss for his company, Fowler believes turning him away is a slippery slope for the city and hopes he doesn't encounter the same problem at future events around the state.

"It's like saying 'They used guns in the Civil War, so we shouldn't talk about it" or 'The (American) revolution was violent, so we shouldn't talk about it,'" Fowler said. "I disagree."