Ex-Mississippi Gov. Barbour arrested with gun at airport

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said he will pay a fine after being arrested with a loaded handgun in his briefcase as he went through an airport security checkpoint in early January.

Barbour — Republican National Committee chairman in the mid-1 990 s and governor from 2004 -1 2 — told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was trying to board a flight Jan. 2 from Jackson to Washington , D.C. He said he forgot he was carrying the handgun, which he had put in his briefcase after an assistant removed it from his auto days earlier.

“This was absentmindedness and nobody’s flaw but mine, ” said Barbour, 70, who lives in Mississippi and often travels to the nation’s capital for his undertaking as a lobbyist.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a TSA officer is currently working on an X-ray machine at a checkpoint at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport spotted a. 38 -caliber revolver, loaded with five bullets, in a passenger’s carry-on suitcase. TSA contacted airport police, who arrested the passenger.

The TSA would not release the passenger’s name, but Farbstein corroborated it was a former governor, and Barbour confirmed to AP that he was that passenger.

Barbour said he did not dispute Farbstein’s use of the word “arrest, ” though he said he was not handcuffs and no mug shot photo was taken. Barbour described the TSA officers and the airport police as “very nice but very professional.”

“They did exactly what they should have done, which was treat me like anybody else, ” Barbour said.

The fine for having a loaded firearm at an airport checkpoint “re starting” $3,920, according to a TSA website.

AP filed a populace records petition with the Jackson airport authority Jan. 24, trying a copy of a police report from the Jan. 2 incident. State law dedicates a government seven work day to react, and the airport had not done so by Tuesday.

Barbour said the gun was confiscated and he then boarded his flight to Washington.

“Next time, I’ll be more observant about get stuff out of my briefcase, ” he said.

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