Reporting from Sacramento -- The San Bernardino County district attorney's office has filed criminal charges against a California lawmaker who attempted to take a loaded gun onto an airplane.
Tim Donnelly, a self-described tea party Republican from San Bernardino, was charged with carrying a loaded firearm in public without a concealed weapons permit and possessing a gun in an airport. Both offenses are misdemeanors, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and $2,000 in fines.
A vocal advocate for gun rights, Donnelly was detained by police at Ontario International Airport last month after security screeners discovered a loaded .45-caliber Colt Mark IV pistol and an ammunition magazine with an additional five rounds in his carry-on luggage.
The assemblyman, who was headed for Sacramento to attend the opening of the new legislative year, later characterized the incident as an "unfortunate mistake." He told reporters he had forgotten to remove the gun from his briefcase after placing it there while working in his home garage.