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Texas has a rep for being gun-friendly. As gun rights advocates will tell you, not so much. While the culture is as pro-gun as you wanna be, gun laws are nowhere near as “liberalized” (I love that irony) as they are in nearby Arizona. The Lone Star State is just now getting around to open carry – with a permit. And while some states are taking a slap-on-the-wrist approach to legal gun owners who forget to remove their firearm from their carry-on, Texas is going full, uh, mentally challenged on a firefighter who forgot to leave home without it. According to . . .

According to a disciplinary memorandum, Troy McMillin, an Austin Fire Department Fire Specialist, went through a TSA checkpoint in January with a loaded handgun accidentally stored in his carry-on luggage.

Following interviews and investigations, fire officials determined McMillin’s act was a mistake and not intentional.

In the memo, Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr says McMillin violated AFD Code of Conduct by failing to comply with laws, i.e. bringing a weapon into a prohibited location. McMillin is suspended for five days without day from April 6-10.

McMillin is due in Travis County District court this Wednesday for his prohibited weapon charge.

According to an AFD spokesperson, McMillin works in operations and has 11 years of service.

McMillin facing a felony weapons charge. His lawyer said the firefighter’s looking at a one-year prison sentence. During which time he would be prevented from saving lives as a firefighter.

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  1. When you force zero tolerance and mandatory minimums, this is what you get: indictment and imprisonment for all.

    • This apparently is about ONE careless gun owner. Been traveling over 25 years and NEVER “accidentally” brought my weapon. Is it OK for this same guy to have an accident at the range?

    • Most people don’t realize that juries are independent entities with the legal right to completely ignore (i.e., nullify) the actions of the court. The courts go to great lengths to keep this information away from the public and, in particular, away from jurors. Judges may give extensive instructions to juries but you’ll never hear a judge tell a jury they have the legal right to ignore those instructions.

      • In fact, if you ever wanted to exercise that right, you better clam up about it during the jury examination phase.

        On the other hand, if you wanted to get out of jury duty? Just say the word. Prosecution will ditch you in a heartbeat.

      • Last jury duty I served in 2012, during voir dire, the nullification advocate next to me stood up when it was his turn and declared “Just from the start, I know you won’t want me on the jury, because I’m a big believer in the ‘N-word’, and I want you to know that.”

        Just like in a movie, the entire courtroom gasped audibly at what they thought he meant. He wasn’t selected.

  2. In the best tradition of goobermint, one guy brakes the law, so punish those who didn’t!

  3. Yes, our governments have intentionally criminalized and weaponized our system of laws and regulations. They use them as a tool to control all behavior and outcomes as they see fit. A far cry from our common law founding and Habeas Corpus where a victim is needed to have committed a crime. We live in a “soft” police state where you are guilty of something crime or “precrime.”

  4. My own personal safeguard is to never use any luggage piece that I use for air travel for any range/firearm use.
    Mistakes can happen. So it is wise to create one’s own safeguards.
    Sad truth is that no liberal politician ever faces charges for bring any weapon to the airport.
    The closest I ever got was leaving my pistol in my car in the airport garage because I had to go get my niece at the gate inside the airport.

  5. I have taken literally hundreds of flights in my life. One thing I have never understood. How does someone accidentally put a firearm loaded or not in their carry on luggage. I have always known exactly what is in my luggage. Even after being up for 36 hours straight, then packing and getting on a plane.

    • Agree completely Frank. Equal enforcement? Or don’t bring a loaded gun on a plane. I know I’ll get a lot of flack but get your ##t together when you fly…and even I in Illinois know Austin is left-leaning…

    • When you get used to off-body carry, it’s easy to simply become comfortable that that extra hunk of iron being where it’s supposed to be. It’s another reason to dislike off-body carry.

      Many of these cases don’t happen because people “forget” they are carrying a loaded firearm. What they “forget” is that there are people who freak out when it is discovered. They “forget” other people have a problem with you carrying.

      They don’t forget about the gun. They forget it is illegal in that particular circumstance.

      • Not even just off-body carry…I’ve now become so accustomed to my Sccy CPX2 in a Remora IWB holster, that I nearly walked into a high school stadium with it. I’m just so used to it now, that I nearly committed a felony merely by going to watch my son’s track meet. Luckily, I was only about 50 feet away from my truck when I remembered, and luckily, my state allows for CHP holders to store the firearm “in a container” whilst on school property.

    • I actually came close, myself, just last month. I was headed up to Canada for the week on business. Normally I carry a G26 9mm IWB and a Taurus TCP .380 in a back pocket holster. The G26 is a pain to fool with, because I wear business slacks and a tucked in business shirt, and tucking/re-tucking is a hassle.

      Knowing I’m headed straight to the airport for an early A.M. flight, I just put the G26 in the center console and the Taurus in a compartment beneath the stereo. Guaranteed no mistakes and no more thinking about guns. Well.

      Spur of the moment, I dropped into a MacDonald’s along the way for a drink. I go inside to fill it myself, because they never get the ice right. Rough neighborhood near the airport, so I pop the Taurus into my back pocket. There it sits, forgotten, until I’m steps from the airport security line.

      I routinely check my side and back pocket, anyway, for just such an occasion, and discovered it. Had to hop back on the parking lot shuttle and go all the way back and place it in my truck. I told security I’d forgotten something and needed to return to my vehicle.

      I get the reasoning behind airline gun bans, though I don’t agree with the policy and it should be abolished. Until then, people should comply. Still, the penalty should be a nominal fifty or hundred bucks, just something to sting a little, not a felony.

  6. Title 2 Chapter 9 Self Defense Law in Texas is one of the best, if not, the best in the nation regarding scaling of self defense force and deadly display (9.04) as a de-escalation tool where simple force can be used.

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong. Is there not a bill in Texas legislature right now which will allow a carry weapon mistake at airport security to give that person the opertunity to remove the weapon back to their car or so without arrest and no further complications?
    Mistakes happen.

  8. There is one thing I know for damn sure ALWAYS!!!!!!! I know where my guns are and the state of loading for each one. I honestly don’t understand how people can be so scatter-brained when it comes to their firearms.

  9. Texas is actually more of a police state than most people realize. Don’t forget the Open Carry Texas movement being sparked by the outrage of how CJ Grisham was treated with his rifle in the middle of nowhere- and consider that this happened at an Airport….And, I believe it’s a Federal Offense. This will not turn out well for the guy.

    AND this is Austin, Texas….A liberal hippy paradise. Quite the juxtaposition of factors. I think he’d have been fine if he carried it into the baggage claim area or the lobby.

    Based on what I’ve just read, I have minimal sympathy for the guy. You don’t ever forget where your weapon is, and where you can’t carry it. My clients are Military, Oil & Gas and Healthcare- I am flat out forbidden to carry a weapon on their facilities. 2d Amendment or not- do not carry your pistol into an area that is a secured area an area.

    • This. Conservatives feel obliged to defend Texas because it’s a liberal punching bag, when there is very little to defend. You have liberal outposts and the rest of the state is overrun with pro-government law-and-order fanatics with zero respect for due process.

  10. It is stories like this that have taught me to have one bag for range use (no other bag is to be used for carrying guns or ammo) and to only carry a loaded gun on my person (I never carry off the body). These two simple rules keep me from violating these draconian laws.

    As a side note, these laws need to be revised so intent is also a factor. Maybe a simple fine and some community service if you make the unintentional mistake of carrying a firearm into the airport DMZ. If you carry intentionally, you get to play the “don’t drop the soap” game for a little while.

    • Exactly. I have a range bag. I also have a bag I fly with. If I take my weapon, it goes in its factory case with locks and goes in the bag to be declared and checked. I know it’s in there and I’m NOT taking it on the plane.
      Yeah different airlines can be knobs about different things, but for the most part, if it’s locked up, you have the keys or combination and is unloaded and declared, you’re not getting arrested. There may be some customer service moron ticket agent drip that gives you a hard time because they don’t know what they are doing, but it won’t involve the cops.

  11. I fail to see the issue here. Unless one is a idiot, one knows that weapons are not permitted at the secured area of an airport. Agree with it or not, it is the law. Until the law is change, you cannot friggin enter the area with a weapon, period. How is it that a person is unaware he or she has a gun. I know where everyone of my guns are at all times, without exception. I know the status of each gun, such as loaded or unloaded. It is not real hard and doesn’t take much brain power to know where your guns are. Again, until the law is changed, don’t be a dumb ass and enter a secured area at an airport with a gun. If you forget you have a gun then shame on you because you will be taking it up the back side in court.

  12. Troy – #1 mistake as a paid FF is working for a Chief named “Rhoda Mae”. You need know nothing more about the FD. The City/FD is not about public safety and protection it is about window dressing and feel good affirmative action BS.

    If you want to be a fulltime paid FF go elsewhere where performance is the measure.

  13. Idiotic…but come on, it was a mistake. People in TX carry firearms like the French carry baguette’s. You’re bound to forget about one, sooner or later. 😉 Kidding, a seriously dumb move but if it was a legal carry, he’s a good citizen with no record and it was concluded to be completely unintentional then it seems perhaps like confiscation of that gun and/or probation is in order. That goes for anyone who is legally carrying (not just public servants). Anything more than that is BS.

  14. My carry-on is my favorite backpack. One that more often than not, has a gat and ammo in it. I fly in 9 days.
    I emptied it completely out over the weekend. Just tipped it over and dumped it. Then double checked it for any loose rounds or spent brass.

  15. Come on Texas, this is how you treat a good man, who is exercising his 2nd Amendment Rights, but accidently forgets his firearm in his bag…you try to make a felon out of him?!? Time to do the right thing, and use some real common sense!

  16. What’s the point of this article? A gun friendly state doesn’t mean you can take it everywhere. This gun should be punished for his mistake, intentional or not.

    • Punish the gun, huh? What, like run dirty ammo through it until it melts? 😉

      Kidding aside, you think the guy deserves a year in jail and to be a convicted felon? Crazy.

  17. Yeah, this sounds like BS. I mean who in their right mind would go anywhere near an airport with a firearm?

    • You and all of your friends should go found a leper colony somewhere and enjoy a “vaccine-free” lifestyle.

      • hiding behind children to push an authoritarian agenda…hmmm, that sounds like a familiar tactic…foggy, you’re another alleged 2A hypocrite.

    • Between transplants fleeing California and other failed states, and refugees fleeing Mexico and other failed nations, Texas liberals are slowly gaining the electoral backing to plunge Texas into the abyss.

      • That’s the long term demogrpahic trend for the whole country, and it’s not by accident.

  18. The Austin police are about a liberal as you can get…so is the Chief Art Avacedo.

    However, in Texas the prosecution must prove you intended to board the plane with the gun for the purpose of a crime. no way they can meet that standard of proof. There was obviously no intent by this guy to commit a crime. Poof! There goes the prosecution’s case.

    There have been several of these types of cases at DFW and Love Field. We never hear of any guilty verdict – I believe they were dismissed. See here:

  19. “Gun friendly Texas?”, asks the guy who fled Rhode Island to make a new life in Texas, out of every other state in the Union and every other country on the planet.

  20. Friendly reminder that Texas is fairly gun-friendly, but really its defining feature is that it’s defense-friendly. This is a state where you’re allowed to shoot someone if they stole something from you and you reasonably believe you aren’t going to get it back (that is, they’re already running away with something that’s yours). Judges tend to give benefit of the doubt to people invoking Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground.

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