Shooting gallery game blocked from 4th of July festival; city says it was a miscommunication

An Arizona business that turns you into a wild west gun slinger isn't welcome at the Phoenix Fourth of July celebration. FOX 10's Linda Williams reports.

- The city of Phoenix is dealing with a Fourth of July controversy that involves a shooting gallery game in Prescott.

The gallery owner says he was turned down for a permit to set up at the city's Fourth of July Festival on Monday night. He says the city rejected him, saying his gallery might promote gun violence.

This story has received a lot of attention around the country. 

The city of Phoenix now says this was a miscommunication. The Parks and Recreation Director says the reason the shooting gallery was turned down for a permit is because it was an arcade game, not because it involved guns.

The owner of Prescott Pete's Highfalutin Shooting Gallery, Pete Fowler, says his rejection letter clearly states it was about gun violence.

Fowler says he and his wife were stunned when they received the rejection letter from the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

"But we were pretty offended that the parks and rec. from the city decided for every body that we, a piece of Arizona history and a family amusement, shouldn't be there because in their words, we're promoting violence in the current culture," he said.

Fowler, who sets up his gallery at events around the state, says it pays tribute to the old west in a fun way.

"Our targets are inanimate objects. Half the sound effects are cartoon sound effects. If that's glorifying guns and violence, I think that's in the minds of people, not what it is."

Mandel Moreno says he and girlfriend enjoy the gallery, which is often in Prescott and charges $10 for 10 games. He says the city of Phoenix overreacted and got this one wrong.

"I think it's continued demonization of American history and guns in particular. Kids are basically being trained to be afraid of guns altogether."

"We get the sensitivity a lot of people have to guns. That's fine. If you don't want to do it, just walk past, that's cool."

Fowler says he won't take any action regarding this, in fact, he says he likes seeing that this started a conversation about guns and perceptions.

Again, the city of Phoenix is saying it did not turn down Prescott Pete's because of the guns, but because it was an arcade game. They say it was a miscommunication -- one that they regret.

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