About 12 people were carrying guns, including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle, outside a building where President Obama was speaking today.
No one was arrested outside the VFW National Convention in Phoenix, according to the Associated Press, where hundreds of people demonstrated both for and against health care reform. There are no reports that the 12 were part of an organized group.
The man spotted carrying the assault rifle and a pistol, 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." You can watch the video from ArizonaCentral.com (go to about 1:30). He's being interviewed by a man who's also wearing a handgun.
Two police officers kept close by. Carrying guns, including the AR-15 assault rifle, is legal under Arizona law.
"If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time," said Detective J. Oliver.
CNN's Ed Henry reported seeing a second man with an assault rifle, but that has not been confirmed.
These reports come less than a week after two people brought guns to a presidential event in Portsmouth, N.H. At Obama's town hall there, one 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.