It's not too surprising that Assemblyman Tim Donnelly was caught with a loaded gun at an airport yesterday. He's into guns.
About a year and a half ago, the Weekly got a firsthand look at Donnelly's vast gun collection, during a visit to his home near Lake Arrowhead. Let it not be said that Donnelly has no regard for gun safety. He unloaded each weapon before handing it to this reporter to hold and admire.
What's more surprising is that Donnelly wasn't arrested for it. Instead, he was cited and released, and he was on the next plane. If only everyone who made that mistake were so fortunate.
Consider the plight of the following responsible gun owners:
Rapper Mickey Wright Jr. -- better known as Memphitz -- was arrested on Aug. 22, 2011, at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, after TSA agents found a loaded .40-caliber pistol
in his carry-on bag. Wright, who had a valid concealed weapons permit, spent the night in jail and made a court appearance in shackles and an orange jumpsuit. The judge released him on $5,000 bail.
"I just forgot that it was in my backpack."
Moses Barrett III, who raps under the name Petey Pablo, was arrested on Sept. 11, 2010, at Raleigh-Durham International Airport after a gun was found in his luggage.
Pablo was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a stolen firearm. He posted $50,000 bail and was released about three hours later.
Pablo's defense: Thought it was a laptop.
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Rapper Jasiel Robinson, a.k.a. Yung Joc, was arrested Dec. 23, 2007 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, after trying to take a loaded gun onto a flight. The Atlanta-based rapper was released on $50,000 bail after spending a night behind bars.
Yung Joc's defense: Didn't know it was there.
Tim Donnelly, who does not have a rap name, used a combination of the above defenses when he was nabbed at Ontario International Airport. He said he forgot the gun was in his briefcase, and he thought the extra weight was a laptop.
So why were the rappers arrested, while Donnelly was let go?
Airport security officers say they have some discretion over whether to make an arrest in these situations. As one Sheriff's deputy told the Sacramento Bee: "There's some wiggle room there."
Somehow that wiggle room seems to work in favor of state lawmakers, and against guys with names like Memphitz.