The human brain is a shifty thing — you thought you put your keys in your pocket but really they’re in the freezer! — but there’s no way the Transportation Security Administration is going to accept “I forgot a gun was in my bag and/or that it was loaded” as an excuse without a little bit of digging. Even if you happen to be a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Authorities say Da’Quan Bowers was arrested yesterday after officials say they found a loaded .40 caliber handgun during a search of his carry-on bag at LaGuardia Airport in NYC. He was charged with second-degree criminal posssession of a weapon, arraigned last night and posted a $10,000 bond.
While forgetfulness is usually the excuse in these cases, so far it’s unclear what reason Bowers gave, if any, for the gun’s presence in his bag. Firearms are allowed in passengers’ checked luggage only and must be unloaded.
Team officials said in a statement regarding Bowers’ arrest: ”We are aware of the situation and are gathering information. We will withhold comment until we know all the facts.”
Meanwhile in average person land, a man at Newark International Airport was also cuffed for attempting to bring a loaded 0.22 caliber handgun onto a plane this weekend, reports The Star Ledger. And his excuse, was in fact, “I forgot it was there.”
Those excuses aren’t gonna fly and neither will you so a quick double-check of that bag might be a good idea before you head to the airport.
UPDATE: It’s interesting to note a somewhat contradictory report from the New York Daily News, by way of observant Consumerist reader Cody, where it says there was a magazine in the bag but that it wasn’t loaded into the firearm.
That same report says Bowers “waltzed up to a US Airways check-in counter about 10:50 a.m. and told a ticketing agent he was packing a Smith & Wesson,” according to authorities.