Previous Post
Next Post

In a previous post I wrote about the improper signage at the Meteor Crater rest stop in Arizona. At the first stop, I failed to obtain a picture. The rest stop is one of a pair of rest stops, one on each side of the freeway. On the return trip, I stopped at the sister rest area to see if it had the incorrect signage as well. It did. The sign appeared to be identical to the sign that I recalled on the South side of I-40 . . .

Note the location of the prohibition on carry of firearms in the rest stop, under the “PLEASE PLACE ALL TRASH IN RECEPTACLES” line. You can see that the signs appear to be quite new, with no weathering. Interesting that the “trash” line is a request, but the firearms line is a command.

I decided to check the other rest stops on the way back to Yuma. We thought that we had fixed this problem back in ’98.   From Rick Destephens, who was there:

Have you noticed that there are no longer any signs at Arizona rest stops that read, “Keep all weapons in your vehicle”? That was Brassroots and S.A.F.E. combine effort back in 1998. We staged a forty-man protest at the Sacaton rest stop and five TV cameras showed up. We then got three hours of time on Bob Mohan’s show on KFYI. That resulted in Hull’s, ADOT’s and DPS’s phones melting down for two weeks. The signs came down later that month.

Notice the clouds in the top picture?  The weather got worse as I approached Flagstaff.  By the time I was heading south on I-17, the rain was falling consistently. The “scenic view” stop before the McGuireville rest stop did not have a sign.  The McGuireville stop did.

See the space after the “PLEASE PLACE TRASH IN RECEPTACLES…” line?  That’s where the offensive firearms prohibition was painted out.  The fading on this sign shows that it is much older than the ones at Meteor Crater.

The weather had turned bad. As I left the McGuireville stop, the rain was pouring down in sheets. I saw a wreck on the way to the next stop. The shoulders were often narrow, and hydroplaning was a real concern, as were wet brakes on the steep down slopes.   It did not help that I was pulling a good sized trailer.

The next stop was at SUNSET POINT:


No firearms prohibition here, either. Visibility was very restricted at this point. I picked up a stranded bicyclist, huddled in a doorway, wrapped in a space blanket. The stop was locked up because the power was out. We threw the bike in the back of the truck to get him down off the mountain. I gave him my card.

I saw two more wrecks by the time we got down. In some places, one-inch gravel was washed across both lanes.  Sometimes the water was over two inches deep on the pavement.  I later found that rain totals of 3-4 inches were common in the area. To compound the difficulties, windshield wipers dry rot rather rapidly in the Arizona desert, and are often neglected because they are used so seldom. Fortunately, I had replaced mine for the cross country trip.

We made it down without further incident, and I dropped off my passenger where he could catch a bus for himself and the bike. Just a few miles into the foot hills, the rain had stopped, and we drove out from under the cloud cover.

By the time I reached Gila Bend, the radio announced that I-17, both North and Southbound, had been closed due to weather. Only one rest stop was open between Phoenix and Yuma.

It was at Sentinel:


Same story: no prohibitions on firearms on this weather beaten sign. Same blank place. Call it progress.


©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Seems likely that those signs were replaced with old signs in storage and somebody either didn’t realize the firearms prohibition needed to be removed, or they thought they’d see what they could get away with.

  2. Quick and dirty solution: stop and buy a can of blue paint and sheet of poster paper. Easiest to make stencil ever.

    Although it is really the mindset behind the signs that needs challenged, not the signs themselves.

    • I was thinking something along the same lines myself … although my solution involved red nail polish.

      I like your solution much better.

  3. Called the highway patrol and let them know about the sign and they will get it fixed fast. The state troopers love the 2nd amendment as much as anyone else and will take care of it fast.

    • I got stopped by DPS about 2 months ago on the US60 near Gold Canyon, when I informed the officer that I had a firearm and a permit, his answer to my comment on the permit was, “You don’t need one” followed by a little love for the 2A and his positive views of responsibly armed citizens. I wonder how that would have went differently with a New York State Trooper? But I think we know the answer to that.

      • ” I wonder how that would have went differently with a New York State Trooper? But I think we know the answer to that.”

        Something that probably includes the words “Stop resisting”.

  4. There is no reason worry about hydroplaning, just slow down! The formula for hydroplaning developed by the Air Force is the square root of the tire pressure i.e. 30psi =5.47 times 10.4 = 56.8mph. It has been reported that radial tires may hydroplane at lower speeds than the bias belt tires used to develop this formula.

      • Tell that to the driver of the car with the tyre with very little tread. I find generally that responsible gun owners take responsibilities seriously in other areas where safety is concerned. Oh and to OP, a very enjoyable read. /thumbup

      • From a retired AF pilot; the tires the USAF was worried about were normally without tread or with very little, and were inflated around 150 psi. The thing I can’t remember was the multipliers for the square root of the tire pressure, a different number depending on whether the tire was rotating or not. Seems like rotating was around 7. But tread don’t matter, concerning hydroplaning. Skidding on a slick road is a different matter.

  5. Both of the meteor crateor rest areas were updated a couple of years ago they prob. used old signs. As my brother-in-law said a few years back when coming here from CA. “Hell when we crossed the border all the trucks where running 80 mph and everyone on a bike carried heat.” Welcome to Northern Arizona! No one cares if you have a weapon , Get pulled over speak up let the cop know and more than likely he’ll talk more about what you carry than anything else.Reminds me of a funny story that happens in the 90’s at the meteor crateor gas station a mile up the road, An LA County sheriff got gas there right at closing time and was paying with a traveler’s check and when asked for ID , flashed his badge and told the clerk that was all she needed ,she wanted his D.L. number to put on the check ,he refused so long story short ,she called the Coconino Sheriff’s department and they drove the 50 miles out there and then told the L.A. COP either show your ID. To write a check or go to jail for theft of services… Funnier than shit ,I guess you needed to hear the clerk tell it! Back to the sign , it’s an old sign were bad we saved a couple bucks by re-using crap that was laying around no one really thought about that one line that offended you , I’ll go out this weekend with my can of paint and cover it up for you.Other than that unless there is a sign posted at the entrance of a building stating “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” you can OC,CCW, in your car what ever .Just don’t be an IDIOT! Get pulled over SPEAK UP! Tell the LEO your packing it’s no big deal unless you got something to hide! Get over this post.

    • No, pretty sure it’s an old sign. They don’t really pull that underhanded stuff in northern AZ. Around Tucson, maybe. But up north it’s 2a all the way.

      • Gonna have to agree with Xanderbach here. Some of the cops in Phoenix are so pro-2A that they’re willing to skirt some of the rules. I used to work as unarmed security in a shitty part of Phoenix known as Maryvale (59th Ave. and Roosevelt, for people that know the area). One night I had to have PD respond, and after the incident was taken care of one of the responding officers asked me why I wasn’t carrying. I told him that my gun was in my glove box, but that I wasn’t licensed for armed security. His response? “So? Get something that fits in an ankle holster.”

  6. Sounds like you had an adventurous trip thru AZ. Interesting to read about it, and the weather you encountered.

  7. I thought Meteor Crater was a privately owned entity. If that’s the case and the rest stop is still on private property, than they can still leave up the restriction on firearms. If the rest stop is on state property, than it’s a violation and the sign has to be amended.

    I think the best sign I saw was in El Dorado Park in Phoenix. It says “Weapons are prohibited, except for firearms and knives”. Damn, good thing I left my howitzer at home. Since I was there early in the morning, I actually saw some coyotes (animal, not the smuggler) wandering around the park too.

    • I am going to have to obtain a picture of that! My speculation is that it comes from the legislature preempting almost everything to do with guns and knives.

      Still, it is a little disingenuous. As I recall, the legislature defined “knives” as anything with a point and/or an edge.

      Kind of the reverse of the Monty Python skit.

      Can we ban guns? No.

      Well, how about knives? No.

      Well, how about spears? No. It has a point and an edge, counts as a knife.

      Well… how about bananas. Yes, we can ban bananas!

  8. Here in Arizona it is completely normal to open carry or conceal carry fully loaded firearms without restriction and no permit or license required. The only restrictions are some parks have signs that read no weapons without a permit so I have my permit for those situations. Here in Arizona we brought knives up to the same level as firearms so all restrictions on knives have been removed. You want a switchblade? Be my guest, wanna carry a sword concealed ala Highlander? Go for it. You can carry and conceal any knife of any size in Arizona. Arizona truly is the freest state in the country.

  9. See, here is the problem. Instead of being an American you are a slave. You spend all your time crawling on your knees begging permission, unlike Americans, who simply move on with their lives and tell government c*cksuckers to f*ck off.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here