Lawmaker Stopped By Airport Security After Loaded Gun Found in Bag
Transportation Security Administration officials found a loaded pistol in California Assemblymember Jim Cooper’s luggage.
The TSA contacted the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, which confiscated the weapon until Cooper returned to California.
The California lawmaker’s office said Cooper, a retired law enforcement officer running for Sacramento sheriff, accidentally brought a bag containing a loaded firearm to airport security.
While Cooper declined to comment on the incident, he stressed that, as a retired sheriff’s deputy, he was fully within his rights to carry a firearm.
Under California’s penal code, it is unlawful for a person to “knowingly possess” a firearm or other weapons within secure areas of airports. But it makes an exception for “a retired peace officer with authorization to carry concealed weapons.” The law prohibits retired peace officers from bringing guns onto airplanes.
Sgt. Rodney Grassmann of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said that a person typically arrives at airport security with a prohibited weapon “once every three to four weeks.”
According to Grassman, people who are not active military or peace officers are subject to misdemeanor citations, but the law for retired law enforcement is a “murkier area.”