PHOENIX – Well-known travel icon Arthur Frommer said he'll avoid visiting Arizona because state laws permit "thugs" and "extremists" to openly tote guns.
Frommer, the author of budget-travel guides, said on his blog Wednesday that he was "shocked beyond measure" by reports that protesters openly carried guns and rifles outside a Phoenix building where President Barack Obama spoke on Monday.
As a result, Frommer said he won't be spending his tourism dollars at the Grand Canyon, or anywhere else in Arizona, because he doesn't want to travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons as a means of political protest.
"I will cancel any plans to vacation or otherwise visit in Arizona until I learn more," Frommer wrote. "And I will begin thinking about whether tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona."
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon says he spoke with Frommer on Thursday and invited him to visit the city to clear up any possible misconceptions about safety.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.