CO: No Charges for Rep Who Forgot Gun Was in Carry-On

CO: No Charges for Rep Who Forgot Gun Was in Carry-On

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In a show of common sense, no charges were filed against State Representative Lori Saine, R-Firestone.

Lori had forgotten that her personal, legal, self-defense firearm was in her carry-on luggage.

From thedenverchannel.com:

DENVER — The Boulder County District Attorney has decided not to press charges against Colorado State Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone, who was arrested December 5 after carrying a loaded gun through security at Denver International Airport.

In a statement released Thursday, Boulder District Attorney Stanley Garnett's office said a criminal case against Saine could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and charges “are not appropriate.” She was facing a possible class 6 felony charge.

This type of incident happens thousands of times a year. In 2015, the number was 2,653 firearms discovered in carry- on bags. In 2016, 3,391 firearms were discovered the same way.. The number is increasing every year. I expect the 2017 numbers to be higher yet.

Denver is in the top 10 airports for discoveries of legal firearm owners who are inadvertently caught up in TSA security apparatus. There were 98 of these incidents in Denver in 2016.

The U.S.A. has over 16 million people with firearm carry permits, about 6.5 percent of the adult population. With so many people legally carrying firearms, it is inevitable that a few will be distracted at a critical time, get rushed in packing a bag, or otherwise make an innocent mistake that leads to a problem such as Representative Saine encountered at the Denver airport.

Most of these situations are handled with common sense, such as the Boulder County District Attorney demonstrated.

Legal gun owners caught up in TSA security apparatus, should not be subject t o the same penalties as terrorists and assorted criminals.

Being pulled off a flight, losing the cost of the ticket, missing your appointments and family events, and going through the criminal justice system, are more than enough punishment for an innocent mistake.

The job of a prosecutor is to seek justice, not to win cases and prosecutions.

This incident serves as a warning to all gun owners in the United States, and particularly to the millions who routinely carry firearms.

When traveling by air, be extremely cautious about your luggage. Search your carry-on twice to make sure it does not contain so much as a single round of .22 ammunition.

A number of years ago, I found I had traveled hundreds of miles by air with a box of .22 shells in my computer bag. It was a wake-up call.  TSA never discovered the box of ammunition, but they could have. It would have ruined my day.

Do not make that mistake. It is much easier to do than you imagine. The vast majority of people are careful and avoid problems. There are about a hundred million gun owners in the United States. 3,391 were found with a gun in their carry-on last year. It is a tiny percentage.

The numbers are rising as are the number of gun owners and people who regularly carry. Carry a gun enough, and fly often enough, and it can happen. Check your bags twice. When you are tempted to rush, slow down.

2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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jamesjeffrey l meltonSabeltomcatTSgt B Recent comment authors
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james
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james

TSA has not apprehended any Terrorists but countless mothers with breast milk in approved containers,
toddlers being hand searched, elderly women being fondled.

All window dressing.

james
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james

Perhaps the case should have went to grand jury and trial,
a not guilty verdict would be case law and precedent.

james
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james

NY and NJ airports have you arrested if you have your lawfully owned firearm,
one man had a flight cancelled due to equipment, returned the next morning and
attempted to check his firearm in the appropriate case at ticket counter.
He was immediately arrested and charged. He was flying back to Las Vegas where he lived.

They love to arrest you, threaten you with years of prison time and legal bills,
but if you just sign here you can go and leave the gun and have a felony charge forever.

jeffrey l melton
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jeffrey l melton

While I applaud the Attorney General Garnett who chose not to charge Representative Saine , I wonder if the same courtesy would apply to any of us, the lowly citizen. American law should be one law for all US citizens, not one for the elite and a different one for us peons.

Sabel
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Sabel

I am curious as to why the DA from Boulder County is involved in this matter. The airport is located within the convoluted confines of the City/County of Denver and Firestone is located in Weld County. Nothing in this matter happened in The People’s Republic of Boulder, as it is not-so-affectionately but all-too-accurately referred to around here.

tomcat
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tomcat

I agree with other postings here that, basically, conclude there are two standards. One for we citizens and one for the elite who are elected to office. That applies to Judges who have garnered free carry cards in the law just passed in the house. Some of these nuts will spray the whole neighborhood if someone yells boo at them.
Anyway, the TSA is just another example of putting people to work for the government but accomplishing nothing.

Sabel
Guest
Sabel

I am wondering why the Boulder County D.A. was involved in the situation. DIA is within the City and County of Denver, via an extremely convoluted county line that was designed to give Denver the benefits of taxation at the airport. Firestone is located in Weld County. I don’t see why the Boulder DA would have any standing in the case at all. What am I missing?

TSgt B
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TSgt B

Actually, DIA is in Weld county. I agree as to your concern as to why this was an issue in Boulder county. As to the topic of the article, I can sympathize. I made it through security in Philadelphia once with a forgotten 50 round box of 9mm ammo. I remembered it before I got to the gate. I approached police Sgt,, asked if he was carrying a 9mm, and he said “yes”. I explained my predicament to him and offered him the gift of a box of ammo. When I told him I was retired military and a former… Read more »

Sabel
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Sabel

Check again. DIA is owned & operated by the City & County of Denver and is within the municipal borders of Denver due to one of Denver’s “flagpole” annexations, similar to Southwest Plaza which is surrounded by Jefferson County except for a stretch of West Bowles Avenue that attaches the mall to Denver. That way, Denver gets the tax revenue while Jeffco gets stuck with the traffic headaches. Same thing was done with DIA. Pena Blvd connects the airport to Denver and the airport is surrounded by Adams County. Either way, Boulder County is not involved, so why is their… Read more »

Tionico
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Tionico

Interesing: this is a local DA, not Fed level. The “crime” of bring that thing aboard a commercial aircraft or even into the TSA area is a federal level crime. HOW coud this local DA prosecute such an “offense” in the first place? Is there some sort of magic want FedGOv waves when they WANT to thrust the burden of legal processing of chance violators of Fed laws, but hold said wand still when a local LE agency decides to enforce OTHER FedLaws, as when Arizona decided to begin processing immigrant violations within their state because FedGov refused to do… Read more »

Tionico
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Tionico

A while back a friend was flying out, his Dad had brought him to the airport and, being the Gentleman he is, parked and accmpanitd his son into the airport to properly “see him off”. As Son was making the back and forth traverses of the TSA line, he suddenly realised he still had his carry weapon on his belt. OH NO!!!!!! Frantically but trying to keep cool, he turned to see if Dad was still waiting there… he was. He discreetly backed his way out of the line, somehow managing to NOT attract the unwanted attention of the security… Read more »

sam jones
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sam jones

The State Of Texas Legislature passed a bill that allows Texas LTC (License to Carry) holders, who make this mistake, the opportunity to take the handgun back to their vehicle, and return to the TSA screening. Persons who do not hold a Texas LTC will be arrested.
God Bless Texas

Ed
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Ed

Wonder what the percentage is not prosecuted vs prosecuted throughout the country.

Charles
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Charles

I applaud that the DA has decided not to press charges. But the question comes up, what about others who have inadvertently done this: did the DA press charges in those cases or is this actually a case of two tiers of justice. Sorry to be so cynical but I see too much where the little guy is the loser and the political elite is the benefactor.

Missouri Born
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Missouri Born

A responsible gun owner and especially a conceal and carry user should always know where their firearm and ammunition is.
I understand being in a hurry to get the bags packed and on the flight under a timeline for one reason or another but firearms are weapons and you better know where they are at all times or you shouldn’t be carrying one.

Heed the Call-up
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Heed the Call-up

Missouri, it might not be forgotten as much as unintended. Several years ago when leaving a hotel room I did my usual “sweep” to verify that I didn’t leave anything behind. I had my watch, wallet and pocket knife on the night stand. As I do every day, I put my watch on, my wallet in my left back pocket and my knife in my right front pocket. I didn’t realize my error until I got to TSA security and put my hand in my pockets and found my knife. Unlike with a firearm, it was no big deal. I… Read more »

jdl
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jdl

Careful, you will probably break something if you fall off of your high horse…

joe martin
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joe martin

TSA has never apprehended a single terrorist, yet hundreds of TSA employees have been arrested and convicted of crimes including theft, drug abuse and sales, sexual assault and fraud. The most useless agency ever created.

Green Mtn. Boy
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Green Mtn. Boy

Now if only the same was applied to others who don’t have a official position in government.