Cleveland civil rights attorney David Malik was arrested at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for possessing a .22 caliber handgun and a box of ammunition in his carry-on bag. “I participated in a target shooting class recently with a certified CCW instructor and I simply forgot to remove it from my bag,” Malik said. “I used the bag to pack for my trip. It was a stupid mistake.” Malik is a prominent civil rights attorney . . .

and has handled a number of cases involving lawsuits against the Cleveland Police Department (which reportedly has a number of issues involving civil rights violations,) such as the case of Tanisha Anderson and Malissa Williams.

I mention this only because a few organizations have run a story stating that David Malik is an “anti-gun” attorney, the slant being that Mr. Malik has now been hoisted on his own petard. It may very well be that Mr. Malik’s has taken personal political positions against the right to keep and bear arms — it would certainly not be unheard of. And there’s nothing I enjoy morning than waking up in the morning to a fresh, steaming dish of hypocrisy with a sprinkle of schadenfreude.

At the same time, I know a few attorneys who keep both their ACLU and NRA membership cards in the pocket over their hearts. Since this website is called The Truth About Guns, not Stories That Are Too Good To Fact-Check Because They Confirm My Biases About Guns, I spent some quality Google time on the FEC Contributor Query engine as well as Malik’s own website. My search turned up…well, nothing about Malik. I saw no pictures of him grinning and shaking hands with Michael Bloomberg. Nothing alarming other than the cleveland.com article I cited above, the relevant portions of which are quoted below.

Malik spent Saturday night in jail and was released on bond Sunday morning, according to Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association….

What’s interesting about David is he is such an anti-gun person,” Loomis said. “He’s such an anti-violence person, and of all the things for him to get arrested for, that really surprises me.”

Although I did not turn up anything related to Mr. Malik, I did manage to find a little something concerning Mr. Loomis.

Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association.

In a 2008 blog post at Cleveland.com, Mr. Loomis was quoted expressing concern over an Ohio bill that would allow “all legal gun owners to carry their weapon[s] in a car”:

A bill most Ohio law-enforcement groups and county prosecutor groups tried to shoot down easily cleared the Ohio House Wednesday as backers said the aim was to clarify how people can transport guns….

Relaxing the rules on how guns can be carried in cars worries police officers, county sheriffs and Ohio police chief groups, causing them to vehemently oppose the legislation. Only the State Highway Patrol, which takes orders from Strickland, didnt [sic] object.

“It’s going to make it a lot easier for people to carry concealed weapons in their car, and we’re not going to have any legal recourse,” said Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Patrolmens Association, who testified against the bill in committee.

He said the new regulations would absolutely make it more dangerous for police officers when they approach stopped cars.

Regardless of Mr. Malik’s politics, memory can be an insubstantial thing at times. The TSA reports that in 2014, 2,212 firearms were discovered at airport security screenings. Perhaps a small portion of those had ill intent, but It’s more likely that the vast majority were simply people who habitually engaged in off-body carry, or may have simply grabbed the wrong bag when running late.

While it may make it a bit easier (as Mr. Loomis contends) for police to have the legal ability to arrest and haul off to jail people who have committed a minor infraction due to forgetfulness, we shoudln’t forget that the highest aim of the law is not to make life easier for police. A request for a comment from Mr. Malik had not been answered at the time that this article was submitted for publication.

57 Responses to Civil Rights Attorney Arrested With Gun at Cleveland Airport

    • A union thug living off the salaries of the members of the union.

      “The 1450 member CPPA serves as the bargaining unit for all non-supervisory Patrol Officers, Detectives, and Radio Dispatchers of the Cleveland Police Department”
      http://www.cppa.org/

    • This civil rights lawyer might be an excellent plaintiff to challenge the constitutionality of being subject to arrest and prosecution for accidentally bringing a loaded weapon into the airport.

      • The linked article said the gun and ammo were in his carry-on bag, and that it was discovered by airport security, so I don’t think “bringing a loaded weapon into the airport” will be the charge. Your carry-on bag isn’t searched until you are going through security to enter the boarding area (gates). More like “Attempting to board an aircraft with a concealed firearm”, or whatever the equivalent Federal wording would be.

        • Whatever the charges he would make an excellent plaintiff to challenge such a law especially since he did not intend to violate the law.

  1. Anti-gun jerk, hypocrite. Proof the anti-gun people well know pro-position and 2A is correct. Weasels won’t admit they are wrong due to pride.

    • Not to mention that there’s no money in it for doing the right thing nor being in the right. Always follow the money. No juicy grants from the Joyce Foundation. No deep pockets like Nanny Loonberg to get their hands into.

    • “How does one forget they are carry a gun on their way to the airport?”

      It happens all the time, its quite easy to do so.

      As an example, if you wear a watch daily, you really don’t notice it, except for when you have it off for a day.

    • it is easy. Have you ever hear of a person looking for his or her glasses for an hour getting really desperate only to look at the mirror and discover they had the glasses on all the time? True story, it happened to me as a kid and as an adult and it was not funny at the time. That is why I make check lists when I pack whether it is for a trip (airplane or car), to gun range or to buy groceries, specially if you are flying. If it is mandatory for pilots it sure can benefit civilians. Even the most intelligent person can be absent minded. This guy better learn his lesson fast but he is an ambulance chaser, not a real human being so I don’t care what happens to him.

  2. “I know a few attorneys who keep both their ACLU and NRA membership cards in the pocket over their hearts”

    Please. Do list the names of these rare unicorn riding elves.

    • You’d be surprised. While the national organization refused to take 2A cases because of its belief that the 2A is a “collective” right subject to state control, and is decidedly left wing, a lot of the locals are hardly so left wing and are more than willing to defend all constitutional rights, especially after Heller and McDonald. I seem to recall mention quite recently of the ACLU filing an amicus brief in a 2A case.

      Beware of brushing with broad strokes. Just as it is not true that all Democrats are anti-gun–and quite a few are pro-gun, it is not true that all “card-carrying members” of the ACLU are anti-2A

      • ” Just as it is not true that all Democrats are anti-gun–and quite a few are pro-gun,” its even more true they vote for and donate to Pols who APPOINT ANTi-2A SUPREME COURT JUSTICES.

        /fixed it.

    • I personally attended a meeting with a guest speaker that started his talk with:
      “I am a card carrying member of the ACLU. I am also a Life Member of the NRA.”

      The talk was about his position paper on guns in public housing, and his scholarly and legal (two different things!) research that convinced him that any policy barring personal possession of firearms by residents of public housing (specifically, sites owned or subsidized by Public Housing Authorities) was un-Constitutional and clearly illegal. Since he was legal counsel for the local PHA, it was a significant document. Said paper caused GREAT distress and turmoil, in the best sense of the words.

      20+ years later this is still a contentious issue. There are critical thinkers of all stripes and persuasions.

  3. “What’s interesting about David is he is such an anti-gun person,” Loomis said. “He’s such an anti-violence person, and of all the things for him to get arrested for, that really surprises me.”
    Handgun ownership = violence. Check!

  4. Every time I see another article about someone being caught with a gun at an airport, I can’t help but think that the focus is way off…this should say ” omg, tsa actually did their job for once”

    It was no threat, person got to ship gun home and continue traveling. End of story…

  5. The only silver lining to fascism is that eventually, it also destroys the foolish and evil people who once supported it.

  6. TSA always makes a big deal about how many weapons they’ve seized, as if any of them were anything more than a momentary lapse of attention on the part of the traveler. Arresting someone for it makes little sense in light of the tens of thousands of felons who are supposedly thwarted by 4473s while trying to purchase firearms — and none of them are ever charged with a crime.

    Someone forgetting a firearm or .22 brass in their bag without criminal intent is an entirely different thing from a convicted felon attempting to purchase a firearm, not being arrested, and then going on to buy one illegally somewhere else.

    Oh, and Ofc. Loomis, nice “guns bad” quotes there.

    • The concept of “mens rea” means nothing to those jackholes at the TSA, nor to many Federal prosecutors.

      Since these cases are referred to the local LE and DA, I’d like to think they’re a little more enlightened in their handling. I suspect that I would be wrong.

  7. “He said the new regulations would absolutely make it more dangerous for police officers when they approach stopped cars.”

    Really? How so? Are there would-be cop killers out there who are totally cool with that whole felony capital murder of a police officer thing, but who are currently so deathly afraid of pulling a misdemeanor illegal carrying charge, that they abandon their murderous ambitions altogether?

    And how does that square against the data of officer deaths in the line of duty, which have been declining for decades, while concealed carry and car carry laws have swept across the country in that same time frame?

    Tell you what, Steve Doofis, president of the Cleveland Patrolmens Association, I’ll look at your license to exercise your First Amendment rights, but based on what I’ve read so far, I just don’t see you being approved. You’re the Idiot Free Speaker of the Day.

  8. “Stories That Are Too Good To Fact-Check Because They Confirm My Biases About Guns”

    Loved this line.

    For once, I’m actually fine with not knowing this gentleman’s political position on guns, since it’s not really relevant. He’s not supporting anti-gun legislation, so who cares?

  9. Thank you for putting this together. It’s been bothering me all day that people have been blasting this guy based on one comment from someone with an obvious axe to grind. It’s a shame so few people actually stop and take a minute to educate themselves when headlines like that pop up.

  10. If he had flown out of Columbus a mere 3 hours away he wouldn’t have been arrested and likely would have made his flight. But then Cleveland is basically the Stalingrad of Ohio.

  11. Lesson for the day: The range bag is for the range. The carry-on bag is for the plane. Never the two shall meet.

    Seriously .. there are some functional similarities between decent range and carry-on bags (lots of individual compartments, for one), but it’s not worth the potential hassle to double-duty one bag. Aside from avoidable problems like this one, the bag will pick up gunpowder residue – always a conversation-starter when you get swabbed for a mass-spec check – and it’s real easy for a random spent case to find its way into a nook or cranny. That alone can lead to a bad day in some jurisdictions.

    While I feel for the guy … an attorney, of all people, should have had enough cash flow to buy his way out of this problem before it happened.

    • ^ This. If you can afford the gun, the ammo, the range time, the permit fees, etc. then you can sure as hell afford a range bag that doesn’t go anywhere near airports.

      Forgetfulness is normal, but it’s not the reason the TSA finds guns in bags. Sheer stupidity is the reason.

    • John L – I now agree with you. The first time I ended up with my range bag, a plain black backpack, at the TSA screening checkpoint made me think twice of the folly. This very stern, large, imposing, black gal was swabbing it and I couldn’t help but chuckle. “What’s so funny” she gruffly enquired. That’s my range bag. She smiled. Relief! How ill it could have been. Turns out there were no less that a dozen spent 22’s in the innards of that bag when I emptied on the hotel room bed and gave it a good shake. I don’t think spent casings are a big deal, but better not find out the hard way. When I got home I bought a purpose built range bag. Something one would NEVER consider taking to an airport.

    • It is well understood in Ohio that Cleveland basically wants to be Detroit when it grows up. The cops, the local government, the gangs, the graft… If Chi-town doesn’t work out for Rahm Emanuel I am sure the mistake on the lake would welcome him with open arms.

  12. I wish TSA would tell us how many guns get stolen after they have been checked and properly inside TSA secure custody. It happens a lot.

  13. Editor: there’s an error in this article. The caption under the second photograph says it’s Steve Loomis, but it’s clearly a photograph of beloved Mother Goose character Humpty Dumpty.

  14. “He said the new regulations would absolutely make it more dangerous for police officers when they approach stopped cars.”

    The same lame, lazy argument about law abiding people carrying guns, again, still, but this time it’s in cars. Are the police afraid of law abiding people from carrying guns in their car, or are they afraid of criminals (who don’t care what the gun laws are and will carry them anyway) from carrying guns in their car? How many police have been shot by law abiding people carrying a gun? How many have been shot by law breaking criminals carrying a gun? For the most part, their risk is still the same. It’s disturbing to think the police are lumping us law abiding in with the law violating criminal class. It’s even more disheartening to see the police engage in illogical anti-gun canards about their safety being endangered. It’s still worse to ponder that the police are deliberately lying about it. Back in the 80’s in Ohio, you couldn’t carry a gun to protect your life, but you could carry one to protect stuff, material things, and easily replaceable objects that had a value of $500 or more.
    That is seriously whacked.

    • It’s still worse to ponder that the police are deliberately lying about it. Back in the 80’s in Ohio, you couldn’t carry a gun to protect your life, but you could carry one to protect stuff, material things, and easily replaceable objects that had a value of $500 or more.
      That is seriously whacked.

      Yup. It was an income test. Not unlike the current income test (CHL). 😉

  15. Proof even antis can’t deny that people who do such are not intent on evildoing.

    I’m working at that airport currently. Decent town all in all. If you’re ever here, get some corned beef at Slyman’s and grilled cheese at Melt.

  16. Why is it that so many supposedly freedom-loving, libertarian types hate and fear the ACLU?

    The Bill of Rights started at 1, and didn’t stop at 2.

    • That’s true. But the flip side is that the ACLU needs to realize that you can’t count to 10 without 2.

      They do some good work and some appalling work.

    • Because the ACLU will only fight for you when the rights infringement affects liberals or liberal causes. They protect civil liberties only when violations of such injure their greater agenda.

      If the IRS had been targeting and harrassing liberal organizations instead of conservative ones, the ACLU would have been all over that like stink on a turd.

    • There are many ways to interpret the phrase “civil rights” as an excuse to violate accrual rights. I don’t follow the ACLU specifically, but some want to force Catholic priests to perform same sex marriages in the name of civil rights. A Catholic has every right not to perform such a ceremony and such a refusal is in no way a violation of the rights of the couple’s (the individuals’ in the couple, actually) rights.

    • Calling the ACLU pro-rights is like calling Obama a Constitutional scholar. They both know what they’re doing, but only out of political self interest.

      Once I see the ACLU suing every state in which you need a permit to buy a gun, I’ll believe they’re pro rights.

  17. “And there’s nothing I enjoy more than waking up in the morning to a fresh, steaming dish of hypocrisy with a sprinkle of schadenfreude.”

    That, sir, made my day

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