Texas lawmaker Drew Darby arrested for concealed gun at ABIA

By Mike Ward – American-Statesman Staff

State Rep. Drew Darby faces a third-degree felony charge of illegally carrying a handgun at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, police said Friday.

An arrest affidavit shows Darby, 66, who is chairman of the House Redistricting Committee and holds seats on the powerful appropriations and higher education committees, was arrested Nov. 14 after airport security screeners found a loaded .380 Ruger pistol in his carry-on bag for a morning flight.

Police said the gun showed up during a routine X-ray and subsequent search of his bag.

Darby told police he “is a concealed (handgun) license holder and stated he forgot the handgun was in his bag. The state’s concealed handgun law does not allow licensees to carry guns through airport security and onto a plane.

Bail was set at $5,000, a court filing shows.

Darby could not be reached for comment Friday. But in a statement, he said he regretted the mistake.

“I accept responsibility for my failure to fully examine my luggage when packing,” he said. “I did not seek or receive special treatment, and that is how it should be.”

Darby, who is seeking reelection to his District 72 House seat, has been a strong gun rights supporter. He is among many lawmakers who carry concealed handguns with a state license, though the exact number is unknown because registration records are kept secret.

According to the Associated Press, the Transportation Safety Administration has set a record for gun seizures at airports this year, more than 1,500 nationwide by October, more than in all of 2012. TSA statistics show 20 were seized during that time at the Austin airport, including 16 that were loaded and four that were unloaded.

 

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