August 17th, 2009
09:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Men tote assault rifles at Obama event

[cnn-photo-caption image=
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/17/art.gunobamarally.knxv.jpg caption="At least two men were spotted carrying assault rifles outside Obama's speech."](CNN) - At least two Arizona men brought assault rifles to President Obama’s speech Monday to the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix.

CNN’s Ed Henry reported that one of the men was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle and shouted anti-Obama slogans. The men remained outside the convention center where the president was speaking. Henry said U.S. Secret Service and local police were "very much aware" of the situation and were paying close attention to the men.

However, Arizona is an open-carry state, meaning it's legal to carry firearms in public as long as they are visible.


Filed under: Arizona • Extra • President Obama
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Cynthia in MI

    Greatttt . . . let me book a flight to Arizona ASAP. Morons.

    August 17, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Richard E Altomare

    They should have been arrested as a danger to the President.

    August 17, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Perusing-through

    WHAT DOES THE 2nd-ADMENDMENT (right to bear arms) HAVE TO DO WITH HEALTH INSURANCE TOWN HALL MEETINGS?

    There are always a few idiots that take a good thing to the extremes!

    August 17, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. dromad

    jesus people, chill out.

    August 17, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Michael

    very small boys need bug guns to make any sort of point.

    August 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    While it may be legal to carry firearms in public as long as they are visible in Arizona, it is illegal to threaten the President of the United States.

    Someone carrying an assault rifle and shouting anti-Obama statements is obviously threatening our President; these thugs should have been arrested and indefinitely detained as Enemy Combatants of the United States.

    Let them rot in a SuperMax prison without being charged or access to legal counsel, along with the other terrorists.

    August 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Mike Allen

    An evolution from the previous neo con nuts who have showed up carrying Swastika's and shouting hate rhetoric. How has the GOP sank from the Christian conservatives of Ronald Reagan to the hate filled,ignorant,racist nazis of Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity.

    August 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Chris in MI

    This is absurd! What reason could these jerks possibly have for carrying assault rifles openly, especially where the president is going to be speaking, other than to be threatening? Assault weapons have only 1 purpose and that is to kill human beings.These assinine politicians in these 'open-carry' states who put these stupid laws in place, think they're still living in the wild west. The notion of carrying guns openly in the streets is insane.

    August 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. Liz

    This is amazing to me. Isn't the president of the United States a protected person? I can't believe it isn't against the law to bring guns that close to the president. What if 500 people showed up with guns, could the police protect him then?

    August 17, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Cynthia - Arkansas

    How long is Homeland Security going to let this go on? I can't walk around my neighborhood carrying an AK 47 without being arrested, I don't know why it would be allowed anywhere near a crowd.

    These people are nuts and are being feed everyday by Fox Noise. It is just a matter of time before innocent people are killed.

    I pray everyday for the safety of President Obama and his family.

    August 17, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. Have they thought of ...

    What if some local gun club get all their members to attend, couple hundred of people show up with guns, will they have enough police force to watch everyone? They can say they watch for these 2 people, but what about more people show up with guns?

    August 17, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Question: How many Republicans (McCain, Palin, etc.) or Fox commentators/Limbaugh speak out against this obvious threat to our President?

    If this had happened at a Bush rally, they'd be screaming their heads off about Liberal Nazis!

    August 17, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. America Shrugged

    Gotta give Obama kudos for being brave and not forcing these folks to sign a loyalty pledge or keeping them blocks away from his town hall meets. I wonder what these men are trying to prove? Funny that people who went to see Bush with anti-war tee shirts were arrested ( violation of 1st amendment ) but we have gun toting yahoos actually bringing weapons to an Obama town hall meeting and the Secret Service is only watching them. I guess we see which President cares more about the bill of rights.

    August 17, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Greg in Houston

    The lunatic fringe is bubbling to the surface. I believe in gun rights, I own one. But you do not tote an assault rifle to a public event where it is ABSOLUTELY not necessary. Just one more reason NOT to live or do business in Arizona.

    August 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Marie

    Guns do not belong in civilized societies. The so called "right to bear arms" when applied to the public in general hardly deserves to be considered a fundamental human right. The second amendment would be a total joke if it were not for the number of victims that has caused.

    August 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. James Nye

    I've been an NRA member for over forty years. I would NEVER carry any gun near any VIP or head of state from any country or near anyone under U.S. Government protection.

    August 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. Kenneth

    What, were they out of Viagra so they showed up with their guns? Were their 4-wheel drive trucks in the shop? Do they feel like men now?
    Can we give Arizona back to the Indians we stole it from?

    August 17, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. Rayne Williams

    If this was during W's presidency, I wonder how loudly Rush and the other rightwingers would be screaming about people threatening the president.

    August 17, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Debra R

    As long as the law is upheld, what is the problem?

    August 17, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  20. Pat Dunn

    Those men, veterans or not should not be allowed any where near the President of the USA. The same rules should apply as to planes being kept away from Washington. I can not believe the state of Arizona would put our president in harms way, and this is blatant misconduct from anyone. I am shocked our veterans have no respect.

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. lynn

    I am a life member of the NRA. This is the attitude of moronic intimidation that will cause the anti gun people to respond and demand that guns be taken out of the hands of law abiding citizens. We may have law on our side now but you are feeding the fire and not helping the cause.

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. Tee

    Good it's still a free country and they have every right to carry firearms as long as they are Legal and have followed the Letter of the Law. Which was the case.I'm sure they were asked for ID and had to Prove they were Legally able to do so.

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  23. Nobody Asked Larry But...

    Is it any wonder then, that any and all civilized countries and peoples look at us like we are sick, sick, sick, which we are.

    You know these whack jobs really need help.

    Oh, by the way, it is Arizona, isn't it, home of a presidential wannabee.

    How many million votes did he get?

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  24. Debra R

    They are within their 2nd ammendement rights.

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  25. Peter E

    Exactly what are they trying to accomplish with this provocation? If they are trying to show that they like to resolve differences by threatening others with guns then mission accomplished! Great argument for gun rights...

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6