PLATTSBURGH — Transportation Security Administration officers found a loaded gun at Plattsburgh International Airport on Thursday in a carry-on bag belonging to Clinton County Legislator Jonathan Beach.
Beach (R-Area 2, Altona) told the Press-Republican that he accidentally grabbed the wrong travel bag when he left his house to catch his flight and did not know the gun was in it.
“I have two black travel bags that look alike, and I had a late meeting the night before, and I was in a hurry, and I just grabbed the wrong bag,” he said.
“There was no intent or anything, but there are no excuses — I just screwed up.”
Beach said the TSA officers and Clinton County Sheriff’s Department deputies were all very professional and handled the situation well.
‘FORGOT ABOUT IT’
A news release from TSA said the gun was noticed as the person (Beach) was passing through security to board his flight to Boston.
“The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun inside the traveler’s bag as it passed along the conveyor belt,” the release said.
The Clinton County Sheriff’s Department responded, removing the firearm.
The handgun, a 9mm Nano model Beretta, was loaded with six rounds, Clinton County Sheriff Dave Favro said.
There was not a round in the chamber, he added.
Beach produced his concealed handgun permit right away, and authorities were able to verify it quickly, Favro said.
Beach said he was target shooting the day before the flight and that, while he normally unloads and secures the firearm after shooting, he was in a hurry and forgot about it.
“I made a bad mistake,” he said.
ALLOWED TO FLY OUT
As TSA officials were alerted to the weapon and searched his luggage, Beach said he wondered what they were getting excited about.