Democrat California Assemblyman Jim Cooper, who authored anti “ghost-gun” legislation and receives an F rating from the NRA-ILA, apparently forgot on March 3rd that he had a loaded firearm in his purse. TSA found it during the X-ray screening of his messenger bag, which, according to Cooper’s own office, “looks like a purse.” If you think he got in trouble for this, you’d be sadly mistaken.
According to the NRA ILA:
[Cooper] was not charged during the incident. In fact, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office told the Sacramento Bee that law enforcement stored the discovered firearm for Cooper while he was on his trip and returned the gun to the lawmaker upon his arrival back in Sacramento.
Had you done this in California, you would have been jailed and/or fined. Well, probably.
The official story is that Cooper enjoys some exemption to the California ban on possessing a firearm in the “sterile” area of the airport due to the fact that he’s a retired law enforcement officer. However, bringing it onto a plane in his murse would have been a clear violation of Federal law and it certainly appears that, had TSA not caught his roscoe in his carry-on…well…Cooper had pretty clearly forgotten it was in there.
Additionally, Cooper wasn’t charged under Federal TSA laws for attempting — intentionally or not — to pass a loaded firearm through a security checkpoint, which carries a hefty civil fine up to $10,000 for a first-time offense.
Enjoying special person status and retaining your right to carry a gun in the airport, and attempting to pass a firearm through TSA screening and getting caught but not sanctioned (in fact, accommodated) are pretty far apart on the leniency scale. Looks like anti-gun politician Jim Cooper enjoyed both of these things though he’d undoubtedly lobby to have the book thrown at you.