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

Men tote assault rifles at Obama event

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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. Jerry Ring

    Carrying assult guns in public? So how is Arizona different from any third world backwater country?

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  2. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Financed by Fox News no doubt. Where was John McCain? Doesn't he care enough about the VFW to show up in his own state? Now that's being a maverick!!

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. Mike

    There is absolutely no reason to be carrying automatic weapons around public events. Republicans will soon get more and more violent and I can only hope it doesn't get out of hand. The second amendment is trash.

    August 17, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. Denna

    Flaming nut jobs! Just flaming nut jobs! What was the point of carrying guns to the President's speech? Let me guess, they are out of work men looking for a position with the Secret Service. These men are potential assassins, no matter what anyone says.

    August 17, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. Mike

    These men disagree with obama and must be racist as you can see by the picture.

    August 17, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. Andreas

    Once again, an AR-15 is NOT and assault weapon. It's military counterpart, the M-16, IS an assault weapon. Of course this report comes from libs, so what do you expect beside mis-reporting and lies.

    August 17, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. AL

    If the pic is right and not doctored it appears that the man with the AR15 slung on his back is "of Color". If so not all people of color are happy with the Prez.

    August 17, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Another Voter

    This is really sad.
    What point are these people trying to make?

    August 17, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Tony in Maine

    When, not if, but when some NRA 2nd Amendment spouting tiny brained moron decides to do Glenn Beck's bidding, I sincerely hope the Secret Service is quick and accurate.

    Further, and I know that in the land of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne this won't happen, I hope the 2nd Amendment is amended to make it a felony for non-law enforcement personnel to carry a loaded weapon to a public event.

    August 17, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Nuttin 2 Prove

    A couple of little boys, overcompensating for their "shortcomings".

    August 17, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. Bill

    I am a lifelong Republican a nd a US Navy
    vet. What did you do for your country?
    My good ness give the new president a chance/
    What is with these guys??
    They are not any better than any one else
    My God life is too short to be so mean spirited!
    Remember a smile and some kindess is a better
    and healthier emotion.
    HATE is a wasted emotion!! plus you will probably develop High Blood Pressdure and have a stroke.
    Cool your jets and work together!!

    August 17, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Jeff Allen

    Why is this making the news?? Has anyone read the Constitution lately?
    To CNN: the second amendment ratified on December 15th, 1791 states, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. So, whats the problem?

    August 17, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    C'mon! The Founding Fathers also thought that 'every men is created equal' only refered to white, protestant, anglo-saxon property owning males. Any person claiming to 'know' what the Founding Fathers 'intended' is just talking out of their shoe! Fun fact: guns in homes are over a hundred times more likely to injure/kill a family member than they are to stop intruders!

    August 17, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    AND THEIR POINT IS????????????????????????????? These people have guns and act like they're in the WILD, WILD WEST!!! This is not a GUN RIGHT battle right now and even then, THEIR POINT IS?????????????????????

    The PARTY OF NO is creating an atmosphere that is going to cause a MAJOR outbreak in this country.... The COLOR of these MEN are not PEOPLE OF COLOR.....!!!! So what message is that????

    A RACE problem exists in this country and WHITE MEN think they are exercising their GUN RIGHTS by doing what they're doing!! This is sending the WRONG message and instead of them so-called pulling the TRIGGER which is the reason why they have the guns EXPOSED in this matter – they are going to TRIGGER a revolution that is not going to be pretty....

    This is their definition of GUN RIGHTS! Not to protect themselves – or hunt – it's to ENCITE!!!!

    August 17, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Mary Beesley


    August 17, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Carl Justus

    I guess it is hard for the wild west to join the civilized society. That goes to show how dumb the folks of some states are when they vote for legislators that will pass a bill to carrying of open or concealed weapons.

    Stupidity is not hard to find nowadays and with the 10 second news we get it is harder to find out about anything until after the lobbyist who own the legislators, congress, county boards, city councils and those in between.

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

    I don't mind guns in the hands of trained, RESPONSIBLE people. And guess what, we already have those. They are called the police! I wouldn't mind people carrying guns if I knew they had to go through several WEEKS of proper training on responsible, ethical use of such a tool. And leaving daddy's gun out for their spoiled teen to carry to school to threaten my child with is NOT responsible! Oh but people hate to take responsibility, even for their own child.

    August 17, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. T.L.

    Do they allow duel in Arizona?

    August 17, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. Tony

    I agree with you these men should not have their weapons with them. HOWEVER, why is it you only show articles that are the FEW wack-jobs that are out there. YOU ARE BIASED AND A ONE-SIDED NEWS SITE!..

    August 17, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Tracey

    This is totally outrageous. What is their point, exactly?? These idiots want to show a total lack of respect for our President. Haters, big time.

    August 17, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. elana

    And is this really NEWS????

    August 17, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. Ron

    It might be legal, but it is hardly classy or smart. So go conservatives.

    August 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  23. DP

    Big gun small...

    August 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Hey, isn't America great?!
    I guess it would only be illegal if these guys started spraying bullets and creating carnage. But like the NRA says, upright citizens should be able to have assault rifles or else only criminals will have guns. Of course, if these guys did commit a massacre, well then, that right would be immediately taken away and justifiably so. The dead bodies would be needed as evidence that they would no longer be able to have arms.

    August 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Buckeye

    Madness. Sheer madness.

    August 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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