clearn.png
Saturday May 25th, 2019 3:11AM

Southwest pilot with loaded gun arrested before boarding

By The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Southwest Airlines pilot was arrested early Wednesday after a loaded handgun was found in his carry-on luggage before his flight left St. Louis, officials said.

The Transportation Security Administration said in a statement that local law enforcement was alerted around 4:45 a.m. and took possession of the 9 mm Smith & Wesson M&P Shield that was loaded with seven rounds of ammunition.

The 51-year-old pilot, whose name was not released, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful use of a weapon. Officials at St. Louis Lambert International Airport said charges were pending through St. Louis County.

A spokesman in the prosecutor's office said no criminal charges had been filed by early Wednesday afternoon. Individuals who bring firearms to an airport checkpoint can face civil penalties of up to $12,000, the TSA said.

Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Melissa Ford said the pilot was scheduled to work Flight 1106 to Las Vegas as the first officer or co-pilot. The flight was delayed 45 minutes.

Southwest said it was working with authorities to gather more information. The man's union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, declined to comment.

After terrorists with knives commandeered four airliners in the 9/11 attacks, Congress let pilots carry loaded guns in the cockpit if they went through training overseen by TSA. Airport officials said the Southwest pilot did not have any type of authorization to carry a gun on Wednesday's flight and didn't have a conceal and carry permit.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it was unclear why the pilot had the gun.

Whether the person caught with a gun at a checkpoint is an airport employee or a passenger, "99.99 percent of the time they say, 'Oops, I forgot it was in my bag,'" Howell said.

Passengers with guns in carry-on bags are frequently stopped at airport security checkpoints. Last year, the TSA confiscated a record 3,391 firearms, 83 percent of which were loaded. The TSA said the firearm the pilot had is the 46th that its officers have discovered this year in St. Louis. A total of 31 were found there last year.

There have been no known incidents in which armed pilots defended the cockpit against terrorists, although supporters say the existence of the armed-pilots program is a deterrent. In 2008, a US Airways pilot accidentally fired a bullet through the cockpit wall while he was stowing his gun before landing in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Dangerous Hawaii psychiatric patient flew to California
Police believe a dangerous man who escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital is in Northern California
11:31AM ( 5 minutes ago )
California gunman who killed 4, wounded 10 was out on bail
The gunman behind a rampage that killed 4 and injured 10 in California was free on bail and had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before
11:10AM ( 26 minutes ago )
California gunman's mom says he told her "it's all over now"
The family of a gunman who shot 14 people and killed four in Northern California said he had declared he was "on a cliff" with "nowhere to go."
11:04AM ( 32 minutes ago )
U.S. News
US businesses keep stockpiles unchanged in September
US businesses keep their stockpiles unchanged in September, while sales climb 1.4 percent
11:22AM ( 14 minutes ago )
The Latest: Hatch defends 'Obamacare' repeal in tax bill
The head of the Senate's tax-writing committee is defending the decision to include in the tax bill a repeal of the Obamacare requirement for Americans to get health insurance
11:04AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Russian lawmakers approve bill targeting foreign media
Russian lawmakers have unanimously approved a bill allowing the government to register international media outlets as foreign agents
11:04AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Tillerson says US considers individual sanctions for Myanmar
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says U.S. considering individual sanctions for Myanmar violence against Rohingya Muslims
9:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
Papa John's apologizes for criticizing NFL anthem protests
Papa John's apologizes for comments made by CEO John Schnatter blaming sluggish pizza sales on NFL players kneeling during national anthem
9:14AM ( 2 hours ago )
Airbus to sell 430 planes to Phoenix-based Indigo for $49.5B
Airbus to sell 430 airplanes to US firm Indigo Partners for $49.5 billion in the European firm's biggest deal
8:07AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Northern California gunman kills 4, wounds 10 in rampage
The gunman behind a rampage that killed 4 and injured 10 in California was free on bail and had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before
7:11AM ( 4 hours ago )
Experts: Bush groping allegations would be hard to prosecute
Allegations that former President George H.W. Bush inappropriately touched six women involve potential crimes punishable by fines or jail time, if they had been prosecuted
7:01AM ( 4 hours ago )
Amid calls to step down, Moore finds refuge with his base
Republican Roy Moore sought refuge among his evangelical base amid calls from national Republicans for him to drop out of the Alabama Senate race because of allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers
6:01AM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
The Latest: Merkel: coal phaseout will be in coalition talks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the issue of when and how to phase out her country's use of coal will be a key issue in talks on forming a new government, but hasn't said whether she backs a firm deadline
10:52AM ( 45 minutes ago )
The Latest: Macron says Europe should make up climate money
French President Emmanuel Macron says Europe should make up the shortfall in funding for the U.N.'s scientific expert panel on climate change left by the U.S. decision to hold back its contribution
10:46AM ( 50 minutes ago )
US business stockpiles unchanged in September as sales rose
US business stockpiles unchanged in September, while sales climbed 1.4 percent
10:39AM ( 57 minutes ago )
AP Business
Dangerous Hawaii psychiatric patient flew to California
Police believe a dangerous man who escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital is in Northern California
11:31AM ( 5 minutes ago )
California gunman who killed 4, wounded 10 was out on bail
The gunman behind a rampage that killed 4 and injured 10 in California was free on bail and had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before
11:10AM ( 26 minutes ago )
California gunman's mom says he told her "it's all over now"
The family of a gunman who shot 14 people and killed four in Northern California said he had declared he was "on a cliff" with "nowhere to go."
11:04AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Republican governors gather amid party setbacks, turmoil
Republicans who control two-thirds of the nation's governorships are gathering in America's largest red state, discussing how to keep dominating heartland politics
10:55AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Jurors begin 7th day of Menendez bribery trial deliberations
Jurors have begun a seventh day of deliberations in the bribery trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy friend
10:26AM ( 1 hour ago )