Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Man arrested at Augusta airport for gun in bag

  • Follow Crime & courts

An Aiken man was arrested at Augusta Regional Airport after security personnel found an unloaded handgun in his carry-on bag Thursday morning.

Richmond County authorities responded to an alarm about 5:30 a.m. at a security checkpoint inside the airport. The gun was found as Richard Charles Whitaker, 59, went through the pre-boarding screening, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

A supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration searched the bag, finding a Bersa .38-caliber semi-automatic pistol with no rounds and an empty chamber.

Whitaker was escorted from the security checkpoint to the Marshal’s Office inside the airport terminal. He told authorities that the weapon was left in the bag more than a year ago and he forgot it was there.

Whitaker was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon at an airport facility and taken to the Richmond County jail.

Comments (22) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
nocnoc
37370
Points
nocnoc 01/24/14 - 07:15 am
9
2
Example of Innocent of Intent

But guilty because of Political Agendas.

Lets see No Bullets, not touched in over a year if true as written,
then it sounds like someone read the Rule book and enforced it without thought to justify their existence.

It would do all of us good to remember a famous quote. “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.”

nocnoc
37370
Points
nocnoc 01/24/14 - 07:21 am
4
0
BTW:

Was the pistol really a .38 cal, and not a .380cal?
http://www.bersa.com/

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 01/24/14 - 07:31 am
0
0
The TSA did a good job. He
Unpublished

The TSA did a good job. He needed to go to jail for doing something so stupid. How do you pack your bags and not know you have a gun in there?? Idiot!

Frank I
1158
Points
Frank I 01/24/14 - 07:52 am
3
1
you are correct

you are correct nocnoc, on both accounts..

corgimom
26107
Points
corgimom 01/24/14 - 09:47 am
3
5
nocnoc, if you want to

nocnoc, if you want to consider it a "political agenda" to say that handguns are not allowed on airplanes, you are free to think that.

I say it's just plain common sense.

galaxygrl
1165
Points
galaxygrl 01/24/14 - 10:21 am
5
2
Truth

Corgimom, you seem to be on a roll lately. How come it van't just be the truth. I have left stuff in my luggage and found it later. I have stored stuff in my luggage and found it later. Just a thought.

Connor Threlkeld
573
Points
Connor Threlkeld 01/24/14 - 12:03 pm
3
0
In today's paper, a bill in

In today's paper, a bill in the Ga. Legislature would take most of the teeth out of the law for cases like this: (near the end of the article)

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2014-01-23/ga-lawmaker-campus-ca...

daphne3520
950
Points
daphne3520 01/24/14 - 12:57 pm
0
1
itsanotherday1
39293
Points
itsanotherday1 01/24/14 - 01:31 pm
3
1
Sounds like some commonsense

Sounds like some commonsense legislation to me. The zero tolerance crap needs to be revised wherever it is found.

grinder48
1714
Points
grinder48 01/24/14 - 04:02 pm
1
0
Pro 2nd Amendment
Unpublished

I'm pro 2nd Amendment but with all the hoopla about guns on airplanes etc, seems like it would be smart to go out of your way to check your baggage before packing it to carry on a plane. And it could be said that not knowing where your guns are is irresponsible.

john
886
Points
john 01/24/14 - 04:05 pm
5
1
but

I get it was inadvertent, but come on, you forget about where you leave a gun for a year? This dude shouldnt be able to own guns if thats how careless he is with them. What a maroon.

CobaltGeorge
148953
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/24/14 - 04:09 pm
2
2
Sort

of have to agree with you, John.

In 37 years of CC, I don't think there is one moment when I don't know where it rides.

Dixieman
12464
Points
Dixieman 01/24/14 - 05:20 pm
5
2
This happened to a friend of mine

in Minneapolis. He is an honest guy, retired Army officer, and plain forgot his handgun was in the carry-on bag he grabbed in a hurry on his way out the door. TSA found it and detained him at the airport for a while -- BUT he did not have to get booked in the county jail!! This seems to me to be an overreaction by Augusta airport/RCSO. All charges against my friend were later dismissed.

corgimom
26107
Points
corgimom 01/24/14 - 07:37 pm
3
2
It's frightening to think

It's frightening to think that people are so casual with a gun that they forget where it's at. That's how children find guns, when they aren't properly put away.

nocnoc
37370
Points
nocnoc 01/24/14 - 07:54 pm
2
3
Out of sight out of mind

Although today can tell you where every weapon I have is.
It is because We are moving and have transferred all but a few of them to another location already.

We did find 2 in luggage we though were still in the Gun Bag,. We remembered we had gone to the mountains a few years ago and packed the his and hers, then left them packed figuring to go the Beach the following month and did not.

But we always check our bags BEFORE traveling out of town?

Either way the POLITICAL AGENDA is simple for "some" to figure out.

Enforce Totally blind adherence, require ZERO TOLERANCE, push Maximum Media Exposure of all negative situations involving a GUN.

HONEST QUESTION
How many of you would be demanding the guys arrest IF the TSA agent found the weapon again no ammo and told him to take it outside and lock it in his car?

KSL
118713
Points
KSL 01/24/14 - 08:53 pm
3
2
I can well understand forgetting where even one gun was.

Our long guns have always been in sight. Our sons grew up with no interest in them. They knew I had a pistol. No real interest in that. They did not know where it was. Still no interest in finding it.

happychimer
15290
Points
happychimer 01/24/14 - 11:05 pm
3
2
I find it hard to believe

I find it hard to believe that, especially after 9/11, anyone would not check their bag before going to the airport.There is no excuse for taking a weapon inside an airport.or a court house. For security reasons, guns are not allowed. period.

KSL
118713
Points
KSL 01/25/14 - 12:50 am
2
3
Except if you for gpt it was

Except if you for gpt it was there. The main thing is the lack of ammo. What are you going to do? Hit someone on the head with it? Heavier than a legal carry on bag?

KSL
118713
Points
KSL 01/25/14 - 01:01 am
1
3
That period like Obama's as

That period like Obama's as in "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period"?

jbfj
30
Points
jbfj 01/25/14 - 04:15 am
3
1
Truth,

how many times have YOU left a .38 in your bag for a year and forgot about it? NONE I bet. Excuses are for losers. A gun is a gun, not a shaver, razor, clippers or whatever.

bclicious
602
Points
bclicious 01/25/14 - 09:01 am
2
0
Lack of discretion

From what I understand DHS / TSA regulations / policy clearly point out that there is no discretion in how this violation can be dealt with. In other words; an arrest HAS to be made one way, or the other. I have not been able to research the sentencing aspect of this genre of crimes though.

It does; however, suck!

oldfella
564
Points
oldfella 01/25/14 - 09:46 am
1
1
Recently in Canada security

Recently in Canada security found a PIPE BOMB in a young man's baggage. They took the bomb and LET HIM BOARD the aircraft and fly to his destination. Once they took the bomb he was no longer a threat, eh?
Google this for more details.

nocnoc
37370
Points
nocnoc 01/25/14 - 10:19 am
4
1
Some of us own more than 1 weapon

Some us own more than a dozen.
Some us that own a number of weapons tend to have 1 or 2 that are favorites and are at hand constantly. We have a few that get taken out and shot a few time a years at matches and/or what we call vacation guns. Small travel, Hotel, Motel defense weapons these only get touched for annual cleaning (unused).

Firearms are like tools, you don't use them everyday just when you need them.

KSL
118713
Points
KSL 01/25/14 - 11:38 am
1
1
And some of us did not have a

And some of us did not have a place to practice for 2 decades. Now I own a number a number of guns, placed strategically around the house, but well hidden by my spouse.

GiantsAllDay
8954
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/25/14 - 04:33 pm
2
0
The gun was unloaded.

The gun was unloaded. Couldn't they have just issued him a citation, cut him loose and let him catch his flight?

toldyaso
595
Points
toldyaso 01/27/14 - 09:16 am
1
0
Handgun vs Hammer

As a matter of fact, an unloaded handgun is no more dangerous than a hammer. It's not dangerous till it is loaded. However, it is illegal to have a handgun in your carry on luggage. So there is a reason for concern, but arrest and detainment seem a little over the top for an unloaded handgun. Other options should be available. Someone with criminal intent would have been less obvious. The haters will continue to hate and blow this out of proportion. I must say though, that if I had been this man I wouldn't have said I forgot it was there, lol. Just sayin'.

Back to Top

Top headlines

MOX gets funding in House bill

The appropriations bill that funds the Department of Energy and Army Corps of Engineers was passed late Thursday evening. The measure funds construction of the MOX plant in fiscal year 2015 at a ...
Loading...