(Late update: CNN now reports that there were two men carrying assault rifles, reportedly AR-15s, outside President Obama's event in Phoenix.)
(Late late update: The Associated Press reports that there were about 12 people with guns outside the event.)
A man was seen carrying an assault rifle and a pistol outside the VFW Convention in Phoenix where President Obama spoke today, a local newspaper reports. (Click through for a photo.)
Local police said it's legal under Arizona law, but two officers kept close by him.
"If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time," said Detective J. Oliver.
The man, who gave his name only as "Chris", was asked why he was armed. "Because I can do it," he said. "In Arizona, I still have some freedoms."
Here's video from ArizonaCentral.com (go to about 1:30). It looks like the man giving the interview was also carrying a pistol.
Hundreds of people demonstrated both for and against heath care reform outside the convention, where Obama spoke about Iraq, Afghanistan and veterans affairs. His remarks about health care were limited to improvements to the Veterans Affairs system.
This is the third report in a week of someone bringing a gun to a presidential event. At Obama's town hall last week in Portsmouth, N.H., a man was arrested for having a gun hidden in his car after the Secret Service found him at Portsmouth High School hours before Obama arrived carrying a pocketknife. He didn't have a license for a concealed weapon.
Another man in Portsmouth was spotted carrying a gun in a leg holster outside the school. The unconcealed weapon was legal under New Hampshire law and he was not arrested. Later, when asked why he brought the gun, he replied, "That's not even a relevant question. The question is, why don't people bear arms these days?"
And that's not all. A man brought a gun to a town hall with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) last week, without incident. At an event with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), someone dropped a gun, but he had a permit and no police report was taken. And two weeks ago, a New Mexico man tweeted that reform opponents should bring guns to town halls and "badly hurt" SEIU reps.