This weekend, a couple hundred journalists, lawmakers, social media influencers and others gathered in Arizona for an event labeled “The Pit”. The event was put on by the source of the explosive documentary 2000Mules, TrueTheVote. TrueTheVote founder Catherine Engelbrecht, along with Gregg Phillips, worked with documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza to put forward compelling evidence of ballot trafficking across the crucial swing states in the 2020 election, including the host state of this event, Arizona.
After the event at an undisclosed location, participants of The Pit were bussed back to Scottsdale, Arizona, where a private social gathering was organized at the Hotel Valley-Ho in their Sands meeting venue that was rented out specifically for this event for the attendees of The Pit.
Sometime around 9pm or so, the event was interrupted by Gregg Phillips, who calmly announced that he would be leaving the event because he was asked to vacate the premises for carrying a firearm for his own protection.
When Phillips made the announcement, the gathering immediately began to leave in unison over the apparent decision of the management to eject the party’s “guest of honor” over carrying a concealed firearm at a private event.
In the parking lot, Phillips was confronted by Scottsdale, PD. A video of the interaction can be seen here.
Arizona does not require a license to carry, neither open nor concealed. It also does not restrict one from carrying in an establishment that sells liquor if that person has a concealed carry permit and there isn’t a specific criteria of signage posted. It is unclear if that applies only to Arizona permits or out of state permits that Arizona reciprocates with as well.
Regardless, ARS 4-229 states that:
C. It is an affirmative defense to a violation of subsection B of this section if:
1. The person was not informed of the notice prescribed in subsection A of this section before the violation.
2. Any one or more of the following apply:
(b) At the time of the violation the person was not a resident of this state.
This means that the establishment that was being contracted to host the event would have had to first ask Phillips to leave before he was guilty of a crime, and Phillips would have to be a resident of Arizona. Now, I personally know the former happened because Phillips announced his departure to the crowd and left. Phillips is also not a resident of Arizona.
It is unknown if this incident was politically motivated, however, given the location of the event within the highly controversial Maricopa Co, the popularity of 2000Mules (over 23M views) that featured Phillips, and the political ideology of the complainant (according to their now scrubbed Facebook), one must consider it. Especially when you account for the admiration of Phillips from the attendees of the gathering. It is unlikely one of them felt uncomfortable with the fact that Phillips had a concealed firearm and complained to management or called the police.
Phillips was not arrested and was let go after the confrontation with police and Valley-Ho management.