TSA Finds Firearm in Anti-Gun California Lawmaker’s Luggage

TSA luggage nra-ila
According to several media reports, on March 3 California Assemblyman Jim Cooper was traveling through a security checkpoint with a gun. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- According to several media reports, on March 3 California Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-09) was traveling through a security checkpoint at Sacramento International Airport when the Transportation Security Administration found a loaded gun in his baggage. The Sacramento Bee reported that the firearm was detected by an X-ray screening machine in what was described by Cooper’s Capitol Office as a “male messenger bag which looks like a purse.”

The NRA-ILA F-rated lawmaker 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.

Law-abiding gun owners who mistakenly bring firearms to airport security checkpoints don’t always enjoy such a seamless experience.
Cal. Penal Code § 171.5 provides,

(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, within any sterile area of an airport or a passenger vessel terminal, any of the items listed in subdivision (c).
(c) The following items are unlawful to possess as provided in subdivision (b):
(1) Any firearm.

“Sterile area” is defined to include “a portion of an airport defined in the airport security program to which access generally is controlled through the screening of persons and property.”

A violation of Penal Code § 171.5 is “punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

Under federal law, those found with firearms at a TSA checkpoint are often subject to stiff fines. According to TSA’s enforcement sanction guidance table, a person found with a loaded gun should be charged a civil fine of $3,000-$10,000 for a first offense.

Cooper is a retired law enforcement officer. California’s prohibition on firearms in the “sterile area” of airports exempts some retired law enforcement officers. Sgt. Rodney Grassmann of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office confirmed to KCRA that Cooper met the qualifications for this exemption. However, Cooper’s status would not make it legal for the lawmaker to carry a firearm on a plane under federal law.

Despite quite obviously enjoying his own Right-to-Carry, Cooper is no defender of the Second Amendment. In 2016, Cooper authored so-called “ghost gun” legislation in the form of AB857. The bill criminalized the traditional right of Americans to make their own firearms for personal use without government interference.

NRA-ILA understands that otherwise law-abiding gun owners who mistakenly carry a firearm into an airport security checkpoint should be shown the same courtesy as Assemblyman Cooper. That’s why NRA-ILA has worked with state lawmakers to create safe harbor laws that protect gun owners who make this unfortunate mistake.

For example, like California, Texas law outlaws the possession of firearms inside the “secured area” of an airport. However, Texas Penal Code § 46.03(e-1) provides a defense to prosecution for those who,

(1) possessed, at the screening checkpoint for the secured area, a handgun that the actor was licensed to carry under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code; and
(2) exited the screening checkpoint for the secured area immediately upon completion of the required screening processes and notification that the actor possessed the handgun.

NRA-ILA stands ready to work with Cooper on such legislation should the lawmaker be willing to put aside anti-gun politics long enough to extend to all law-abiding Californians the compassion that he was so generously afforded.

About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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Let’s put 20 secounds on the clock : Cooper a democrat anti gun owner really!!! If he was republican assemblyman the democrats would be calling for him to resign immediately. If he was republican the governor of California would be opening a investigation Adam Schiff for brains would be calling for a federal investigation while asking the FBI to raid his home. The FBI would then follow directions from Nancy Pelosi asking for the FBI to confiscate his weapons The democratic Sheriff’s office would have arrested Cooper for a act of terror claiming he is a Russian spy. Maxine Waters… Read more »


And Hunter Biden would be smoking crack, twirling his pistol like Ringo, making travel arrangements to fly off and secure another 10 million for the “big guy”, all while posting it on “Twitter”.


I fear it is far worse than most Americans understand
God Bless


A loaded gun in your luggage how ordinary!!!!

He broke the law he should be subject to the same penalties as all Americans who do the same. Now as a retired police officer cooper should know better. As a anti gun sales spokesperson he is now exposed for whom he really is and again as a democrat DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO.
Shame on him the Sheriff’s office and the TSA , ATF which chose to enforce the laws at their discretion.


The last sentence is chilling to me. The loser has shown his worth, help unelect him, never try working with dolts like this, they will screw you everytime.


The party of hypocrisy


I’ll bet he’s among the 52% of the “Party of Cut and Run”. New Quinnipiac Poll Has Embarrassing Revelation for Dems – AmmoLand.com


Another “Only One” who believes he is (and must be) more equal than the “civilians”.


Rules for thee . . . FJB/FKH

Big George

When I was a kid and I did some bonehead thing that got me in trouble, the next time I would see my Grandfather, he would just look at me and say…“well, well, well…” It sounds to me like Cooper will get a similar ‘punishment’ for being a liberal bonehead!


Good for the Goose

Monkey Mouse

There needs to be automatic jailtime for politicians like this.


Well connected Swamp creatures take care of their own.

The Crimson Pirate

“Cooper is a retired law enforcement officer. California’s prohibition on firearms in the “sterile area” of airports exempts some retired law enforcement officers. Sgt. Rodney Grassmann of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office confirmed to KCRA that Cooper met the qualifications for this exemption. “

While I don’t agree with different rules for different animals on the animal farm it would appear that he did not break the law as written.


True & Orwell’s 1984 quote:

All Animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other’s resonates loudly.

Last edited 8 months ago by Tank

The hypocrisy is deafening. Roman Janus talking out both sides of his mouth eh.

Rules for thee but not for me.

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.


Last edited 8 months ago by Tank
Arkansas Rob

Look at the way Tim Donnelly was treated a few years ago for the identical circumstances, except for party affiliation.


I fear it’s far worse than most Americans understand


God Bless

Last edited 8 months ago by john

Seams to me they have now set a precident and this case could be used to show bias and discrimination by the enforcement or lack of enforcement of laws . Which means they can no longer apply the law to anyone else or risk being sued for discrimination now ! The constitution guarantees equal protection under the law , which means the law is now null and void due to selective enforcement .

Wild Bill

Would that it were so!


the law is now null and void due to selective enforcement”

Would that it were so!”

Yesterday you pointed out, correctly, that unconstitutional laws are “not laws”. (I pointed out that clearly unconstitutional laws are enforced all the time.) How about unconstitutionally applied laws, i.e., applied without due process and equal protection? Presumably that does not make the law itself unconstitutional, just the application.

Wild Bill

That is what the Appellate Courts are for.


I see you broke out your entire sock puppet posse to downvote issues you can’t rationally or politely address…Again

Last edited 8 months ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill

I have been busy and else where most of the day. Word spread that the price of pelletized animal food is going to go up, big time. So we had to spend the day, buying, loading, and unloading next month’s purchase, today.
I do, however, see that you have been thoroughly reviewed by your peers.


Product is getting tighter We are missing trailers 3 days late into the North East. Companies like Perdue no longer want to make bone in chicken breast. Products that folks have become accustomed to will no longer be commonplace in the grocery stores. Money is now tight accounts are paying slower deliveries cost more. The devil is at hand so his brother .

Wild Bill

I am so glad that I live in the country, and have “Granny Clampet’s Possum Recipes” cook book!

Last edited 8 months ago by Wild Bill

Your socks are your peers, not mine.

Wild Bill

Don’t put yourself down. You may not be up to peerage, but I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt.


What a sad chatroom commando you are.


He’s an “only one” – thank him for his service, and pick up that can, citizen:

“Before joining the Assembly in 2014, Cooper served as a Captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for 30 years . . .”



He broke the law maybe he forgot his gun was loaded in the luggage why is that any different as it would be for any American sorry if it were you or me the cell door would be the last thing we heard closing.

Justice For All


scum bucket should be jailed, he knows better the requirements for a gun in checked baggage have been the same for 10 years at least

Last edited 8 months ago by swmft

Why should he get a pass on something that you or I would spend years in PRISON for the same mistake? Oh wait, I know, it’s the same old thing. Rules for thee but not for me. So if me or my spouse who is a retired military were to do the exact same thing, would do the exact same thing would we be granted the same thing? After all my spouse did more for this country than the this guy did. And I was dragging around this country as his spouse would I be granted the same thing as… Read more »



I was being sarcastic.

I don’t believe current or former law enforcement employees should be treated differently than anyone else.


Please thank him well thank you both for your service. Equal under the law seems a fantasy these days Your point is well taken
God Bless Be safe Be Well Be Real