Inland authorities are charging California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly with a pair of misdemeanors. That’s after the San Bernardino lawmaker was caught carrying a loaded gun through an Ontario Airport security checkpoint last month.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office charged Donnelley with carrying a loaded firearm and possession of a prohibited item in a secured area.
Transportation Security Administration officers found the loaded .45 Colt handgun in the assemblyman’s luggage. They also found spare ammunition. Donnelly was on his way to Sacramento.
The Republican Assemblyman says he started carrying the handgun after receiving death threats over his efforts to overturn the California Dream Act. The law makes it possible for illegal immigrants to receive student financial aid at public universities and community colleges.
Shortly after the incident, Donnelly told KPCC he’d forgotten he had the loaded weapon in a briefcase. “So I do intend to always be armed," Donnelly said. "I completely forgot coming back from work this morning that it was in that briefcase. And it was about as heavy as it is when I carry my laptop. So it just didn’t register.”
In a statement, Donnelly said he is cooperating with San Bernardino County prosecutors and has been candid about what he calls an “innocent mistake.” A court hearing is set for next month.