Rifle OCer Busted for Poor Muzzle Discipline

Tam links to the case of a guy who carried a long gun, an AR-15 specifically, into Sky Harbor airport to get a cup of coffee. Apparently he muzzled a woman when he unslung the firearm, and is now facing charges for it, namely two counts of disorderly conduct with a weapon. The Arizona Revised Statutes defines Disorderly Conduct in this manner:

13-2904. Disorderly conduct; classification

A. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person:

  1. Engages in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior; or
  2. Makes unreasonable noise; or
  3. Uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person; or
  4. Makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession; or
  5. Refuses to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, a hazard or any other emergency; or
  6. Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

B. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 6 is a class 6 felony. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is a class 1 misdemeanor.

I’d say muzzling people at an airport qualifies as reckless handling, and I’d even go a step further and suggest carrying an AR-15 in an airport could also amount to reckless display, if it was carried in a manner that could be interpreted by a reasonable observer as being ready for use (e.g. at the low ready).

It’s interesting that a state with a strong cultural heritage of open carry has mechanisms in place to deal with the worst attention whoring aspects of rifle OC. I honestly don’t have a problem with these charges. Muzzling people is reckless behavior.

38 thoughts on “Rifle OCer Busted for Poor Muzzle Discipline”

  1. The instructor for my MA basic safety course jokingly described Vermont’s gun laws (after an hour going over MA’s byzantine regulations) as “Don’t point guns at people, it’s not nice.”

  2. I agree with your comment. Wouldn’t the border agent that pulled a gun on the boy scouts be equally guilty?

    1. He would, but he’s got the magical fairy dust of Government Authority sprinkled all over him.

      “Qualified Immunity,” I think they call that.

  3. Not the first long gun OCer to exhibit behavior in a retail establishment that would get him ejected from a respectable shooting range. I’m really sick of these idiots.

    1. Muzzle sweeping at any of the clubs where I’m a member is an offense that leads to permanent banishment from the property, including all open to the public shoots (trap, IDPA, USPSA, run and gun, steel)

  4. I agree that muzzling people should be illegal, especially in the general public as opposed to at a gun range where it’s almost an inevitable occurrence with new shooters (and many experienced shooters as well, unfortunately). But what is to prevent police officers from lying and arresting people for “muzzling” when in fact they didn’t?

    The charges certainly seem to fit the definition of crime, but I wouldn’t vote to convict if I were on that jury unless there was video evidence that he actually muzzled somebody. The word of police has almost no credibility as far as I’m concerned.

    1. You know how to have an ironclad defense against that? Carry a *handgun* in a holster and don’t touch it.

      Harder for a cop to claim you drew and swept the crowd if there are any witnesses than for any person to claim they got muzzled as you shifted the slung long gun only a moron would be carrying for defense in public anyway.

  5. “Why do you hate OC? You’re no friend of OC” …that’s what I get or see on forums when someone brings up the salient points you bring up, Seb. Oy vey.

    1. I like the comments on another forum suggesting the mother and her daughter could have been rabid anti-gunners who made up the story to punish someone doing something completely legal and normal. Right..people are so accustomed to seeing civilians with rifles hanging out in airports.

      1. OC of rifles is somewhat common in AZ. (Most people carry pistols, of course, but a rifle can be seen from time to time. Most people are on their way to somewhere when they do it) I bet the guy is just a grade-A dumbass who muzzled someone. That seems more likely than an anti gunner plot.

        Somebody above mentioned video. They may release it soon.

        1. There was footage on the Today show the other morning. It’s how I heard about the story in the first place.

          1. So did this footage actually show someone being muzzled? Or did it show gun handling, that the police didn’t like? The footage I saw did not show anyone getting muzzled, it showed someone handling the firearm, but I wasn’t able to pick out a way in which someone could have been muzzled by the handling. if there is footage showing someone getting muzzled here, I’d like to see it.

            I think there is credence or at least some possibility to the theory that the event was made up by a combination of 1) cops who knew this guy or had heard of him 2) they couldn’t “get him” on any crime because he wasn’t committing any crime but ticking them off and 3) the cops fishing the witness waters for people to say ‘do you see that guy over there with the rifle? does that scare you?”

            I have FOIA dispatch tapes of a similar local to me event in which one of the cops on the scene is pleading with a magistrate that they can’t “get these guys” from a local event for some handgun open carriers. This guy passes off the phone to the OIC, then back several times and the magistrate and OIC agree nothing illegal is going on, while the cop with the attitude is looking for something to “pin” on the people with the handguns.

  6. Who the heck goes to an airport to get a cup of coffee?

    It costs too damn much there and then there’s parking. It would have been much easier to just go to Mickey D’s drive-thru. Better tasting coffee (to me) and much cheaper.

    Jeez and this guy is a doctor to boot.

    1. And since it’s a felony there, he’s looking at loosing all his guns over it too….

      1. Carry outside the security perimeter inside an airport is legal in that state and many others.

        If the muzzling is a felony it’d be a felony regardless of venue.

  7. It is my Understanding that the “Bad Doctor” is already on record as doing something Stupid with a Gun in Public, so this would be Strike Two.

    As for Guns at Airports, in Ohio, it’s okay to CC if you have a Permit at an Airport up to the Security Checkpoint. Just don’t be messing with it unless it’s Shooting Time.

    And of course, Guns in Airports aren’t an Issue. People Fly all the Time with their Firearms in Checked Luggage, and they have to be carried into the Terminals somehow, right?

    Which leads me to a Security Scenario I will NOT be Talking about, just in case the Bad Guys find out….

  8. I hope you all got that PSH out of your systems.

    Alan Korwin via TAG (yeah, I know you hate it) reports all charges & hearings dropped.

    For a bunch of smart people you sure let the “real” media drag you around by the nose….Just saying.

    By the way wasn’t it just this month there were a lot of bloggers reporting on the antis advocating “swatting” open carriers???

    1. Do you have a link to the article reporting the dropped charges? Thanks…

      1. I have seen references on various blogs and fora, but the source seems to be an e-mail from Alan Korwin.

    2. It was a stupid and actively counter-productive thing to do regardless of charges. *That* is the point.

      Rifle OC for self-defense has never been normal in this country, it will not be “normalized” in our lifetime and we shouldn’t even try; given that there has not been any *positive* outcome from it anywhere it has been tried.

      1. There are places where Rifle OC is normal; even in places where it’s not normal but it’s still legal, I wouldn’t hold it against a person who has very good reason, and who does it as discretely as possible.

        The problem with “Open Carry In Your Face (OCIYF)” is that the yahoos who are doing it don’t need to, but are in a a badly misguided attempt to garner sympathy for their cause, and when they do, they aren’t very discrete about it. At the very least, they ought to dress nicely, and carry their weapons respectfully!

        (This is particularly true if OC pistols is your goal: walking with empty holsters would be better to draw your attention to your plight, than carrying a rifle.)

        1. Alpheus,

          Not picking a fight but where, exactly, is OC of rifles: loaded, on-body, *ready for self-defense in urban areas*, normal in the US?

          That’s the topic, not “OC in (semi-)rural areas *while hunting*”, or openly *transporting* unloaded rifles to and from a place where rifles are appropriate, such as a range, or a gun smith, or in and out of a business to avoid leaving in a vehicle, or even “visible in a window rack of a truck”.

          The idiot rifle OC-ers aren’t talking about any of that, they are specifically talking about normalizing the carry of loaded long guns -at the ready- for the sole purpose of self-defense in urban areas where there is no other lawful use (hunting or target shooting) context available.

          That has never been normal in any urban area in the US, except maybe on the historic frontier, during periods of actual Indian threat.

          1. You will see it in Tucson, AZ generally during Rodeo weekend and specifically at the Rodeo parade.

            1. In a limited context which is understood, not as day-to-day self-defense.

          2. You misconstrue what long gun open carry is about. It is almost never about self defense with a long gun. It is virtually always about strong, symbolic, political speech.

            Demonstrating, in a clear and unequivocal way that the right to keep and bear arms means something.

            It is protected under both the first and second amendments.

            As to “normal” open carry of long guns. It was common for people to do this when going to a range, or hunting or to have a gun repaired.

            Obviously, that has not been enough to protect the right.

            1. Except when you -ask- the idiots doing it why they are carrying as if they were patrolling for tangos in the Galleria they talk sbout “normalizing rifle OC for SD.”

              And as I noted, transporting an uncased, unloaded rifle to and from an understood context, range, gunsmith, has *no* relation to carrrying a loaded AR slung at the ready while shopping.

                1. The problem there is that the people they need to influence, the non-gun people who vote, do not and will not make the absurd leap from “all we want is to be able to tuck in our shirts or take off our jackets” (the actual handgun CC to handgun OC message) when they see idiots “patrolling the Galleria for tangos.”

                  The message they get is, these jackasses are irrational and scary and we should probably do like California and get rid of rifle OC as well.

          3. I would expect that, unless you’re doing patrols with a rifle in your neighborhood (which is only acceptable in places where the police have abandoned your neighborhood, say, because of a natural disaster, or because the crime is so bad that the police don’t dare to come in your neighborhood) then your rifle shouldn’t be loaded and ready for self defense. Carrying it in this way isn’t carrying the rifle as discreetly as possible!

            This kind of activity is more typical of the OCIYF crowd. And part of the ridiculousness of it all is that, in some cases, at least, OCIYF is open-carrying rifles to protest their inability to OC pistols. You don’t need loaded rifles in such a protest, even if you feel driven to OC the rifle…

        1. Name it.

          Note I have already addressed the frontier, and the distinction between urban and rural areas. Also the distinction between “carry” and “transport”.

  9. The source of the “Vindicated” story, who received the email from Allen Korwin, is Dean Weingarten. I consider Dean credible and trustworthy, for someone I’ve only met on the net. He’s not a wild-eyed libertoon.

    Dean allows any site to republish his posts, with credit. That’s probably how it got around so widely. For example, here it is at Ammoland:

    Dean’s own site has had extensive coverage of this case, and note that most of the media ran with an edited video.

    Personally, I still think Rifle OC is foolish and counterproductive. (Remember Mutt and Jeff in Chipotle? That is what most of America thinks a rifle owner looks like, now).

    1. I, and most others thought the video was edited. We were looking for the “muzzle sweep”. We could not see any on the video that was released.

      As more information came out, it became clear that the video was of the event, and there was no muzzle sweep.

      It appears to be a case of suppression of first and second amendment rights because the police on the scene did not like the statement that Dr. Steinmetz was making. Even many liberals recognize that open carry of firearms is strong, symbolic, political, speech.


  10. So when does this post on the main page get updated? I’ve been lurking on this for a year now. And i’ve considered it to be fairly well balanced. I appreciate calling out the stupid. But let’s be honest here, If you are going to call out the stupid. Then you have acknowledge your own.

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