Gun at airport "just an error"


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Seminole
July 10, 2003, 05:33 PM
From the Memphis Commercial-Appeal (http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_2098776,00.html)

Leaving aside the issue of whether passengers ought to be able to carry on aircraft, it's pretty bad when your attorney's defense is based on the argument, "He's a moron!"

Defense attorney Michael Scholl said if Cox were so smart, he would have known how to legally transport a weapon instead of sticking it in a canvas suitcase, wrapped in a T-shirt.

Gun at airport just an error

N'west passenger found not guilty

By Shirley Downing
downing@gomemphis.com
July 10, 2003

A federal court jury believed a Greenwood, Miss., man who testified he simply forgot he had a 9mm semi-automatic revolver in his suitcase when he was stopped by security guards at Memphis International Airport earlier this year.

Wednesday afternoon, Oma Cox, 47, was found not guilty of attempting to board an aircraft with a concealed, loaded firearm at the end of a two-day trial.

"It feels real good," computer consultant Cox said afterward. "A lot of pressure is off and now I can go about my normal activity."

Cox is one of about a dozen people charged since the 9/11 terrorist attacks with gun or weapons possession at the airport. Prosecution has resulted in four guilty pleas, one conviction, one hung jury and two diversions. The rest are pending, said Leigh Anne Jordon, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Cox was caught Jan. 3 in the airport security check shortly before he was to board a Northwest Airlines flight to Boston. He said he'd forgotten he put the gun in the navy blue canvas suitcase two days earlier when his girlfriend packed clothing for the trip.

He'd been distracted before the trip by personal and business problems, Cox said.

But federal prosecutor Fred Godwin said Cox was much too bright for such an excuse.

"Mr. Cox is certainly a person who can read,'' Godwin said as he held up multiple pictures of airport signs that warn it is illegal to bring guns and other weapons inside the building.

He said Cox had resolved his personal problems by the time he entered the airport. Godwin also noted that the night before the arrest, Cox had been out dining and drinking with a friend.

Cox, who often carried a gun for protection when he traveled, ignored the warnings because he felt he could "talk his way out" and return the weapon to the car if caught, Godwin said.

Defense attorney Michael Scholl said if Cox were so smart, he would have known how to legally transport a weapon instead of sticking it in a canvas suitcase, wrapped in a T-shirt.

"Every witness said he told them he forgot about the weapon, every last one of them,'' Scholl said in the closing argument.

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spacemanspiff
July 10, 2003, 05:42 PM
9mm semi-automatic revolver

:scrutiny:

HBK
July 10, 2003, 06:53 PM
What the hell would a semi automatic revolver look like?

spacemanspiff
July 10, 2003, 07:03 PM
a mateba? doesnt tamara have one of those? theres a pic of runt with one of those somewhere i think.

gbelleh
July 10, 2003, 07:04 PM
Does Mateba make a 9mm model???

spacemanspiff
July 10, 2003, 07:07 PM
think this is it. doubt they have a 9mm, thought it was .357mag and maybe .44 mag

Shooter 2.5
July 10, 2003, 07:08 PM
They're chambered for .357 Mag or .44 mag only.

I think Tamara and I are the only ones on this board that own a Mateba.

I would like to hear from others what they think about their's.

Orthonym
July 10, 2003, 07:09 PM
"...dining and drinking with a friend." :eek:

Orthonym
July 10, 2003, 07:12 PM
Saw the photo. As a gearhead, I want one ! How does it work?

Alan Smithiee
July 10, 2003, 11:36 PM
Dardick Autoloading Revolver

http://www.securityarms.com/20010315/galleryfiles/1300/1358.htm

Pebcac
July 11, 2003, 12:24 PM
The email I just sent requesting clarification:

Ms. Downing,

I wonder if you could clear something up for me. Could you please be more specific as to the the make and model of the "9mm semi-automatic revolver" mentioned in the story? The quoted phrase was a bit confusing in the sense that, to my knowledge, a 9mm semi-automatic revolver doesn't exist.

I have to be honest in telling you that this appears to me to be somewhat intentionally inflammatory with the usage of the phrase "semi-automatic," but I welcome any clarification you can provide.

I should add that I believe Mr. Cox should have been convicted. Forgetfulness is no excuse for carrying a loaded firearm into the secure area of an airport. Most gun owners I know, myself included, are far more responsible than this.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Cordially,

My name.

Lessee what she has to say, shall we? :D

Tropical Z
July 11, 2003, 12:42 PM
Good job Pebcac,youre the BOMB!

Erik
July 11, 2003, 01:24 PM
Back to the meat and potatos...

I'd have bet, and lost, that he would have been convicted.

I'm glad to see that the gov't is distinguishing between morons and trouble makers.

GregoryTech
July 11, 2003, 02:10 PM
I should add that I believe Mr. Cox should have been convicted. Forgetfulness is no excuse for carrying a loaded firearm into the secure area of an airport
:what:

Pebcac
July 11, 2003, 02:48 PM
Is that a problem? Responsibility is a huge factor in firearms ownership, is it not? This guy didn't even know where his pistol was! I have a problem with that, don't you? Everyone talks about the four rules - isn't it implied that you know where your firearm is?

As far as the firearm-in-an-airport discussion goes, I think everyone will agree that the current climate is not one welcoming of civil disobedience on this issue. Regardless, that wasn't his defense. His defense was, "I'm not guilty of possession of a loaded firearm in a secure area because I'm a moron who doesn't bother to keep up with my firearms." I don't think that reflects positively on gun owners.

BTW, no reply to my email yet.... :D

Cosmoline
July 11, 2003, 03:09 PM
I don't think the current regulations, which turn airports into little tinpot dictatorships, reflect well on the idiots who claim to represent us. If the rest of the nation were ruled as airports are ruled, armed revolt would be justified.

The Plainsman
July 11, 2003, 06:44 PM
I'm intrigued by some of your reactions. I guess that a number of you have so few guns or dote on the ones you do have, that you know precisely where each of them is at all times.

Maybe it's my advanced chronological condition, but at any given time, I cannot tell you precisely where each of my guns might be, other than certain HD weapons. I can generally tell you whether a particular gun is upstairs or downstairs or maybe in or out of my gun cabinet, but much beyond that and I'm lost. My guns don't just lay scattered around the house, but they may be on my gun workbench, on a gun rack, in a cabinet, depending on what I may be doing with that particular gun.

On more than one occasion, I have grabbed my range bag and headed for the range, only to discover that I inadvertently brought along a gun that I didn't realize was in the bag.

I don't normally transport my handguns in any bag that I use for clothes when I travel, but I can certainly see how some folks might. I find it entirely plausable that this particular gentleman might make the mistake he did. I don't think he's mentally deficient in any way because of this error and I sure don't think he ought to go to jail or lose any other rights, for making a simple mistake.

I'd say this guy has already paid plenty for his mistake. Most of us on this forum would agree that under ideal conditions, any of us who wanted to carry, would be allowed to do what this guy inadvertently did. Why does this circumstance make him an "idiot", a "moron" or anything other than a plain old, ordinary, human being? Damn, doesn't anyone here ever make a mistake?

Pebcac
July 12, 2003, 01:07 PM
Know what, Plainsman? You're right. I resorted to calling the guy names, and that wasn't right. And I don't want anyone to think that I think the guy should get locked up, lose his RKBA, or anything of the such. That said, if the system worked the way it should IMHO, the guy would've got a slap on the wrist in the form of a modest fine or the like, and been on his way. I see this as a violation, comparable to a traffic violation, rather than a crime in the technical sense.

However, I can't go so far as to say that just because he made a mistake he should get a walk, which is precisely what his entire defense was based on. That's not a legal standard that I want set, or there'd be no law, because anybody could claim ignorance. I'm inclined to hold him to a little higher standard of responsibility where a loaded firearm is concerned.

You said: At any given time, I cannot tell you precisely where each of my guns might bewhich I can understand in your circumstance, even though I'm one of those folks that only has a couple of firearms (blame this on my checkbook, not me! :D). But as above, I would expect that you would know where your loaded handguns are (or specifically are not), especially when you're on the way to the airport. Later, you said:My guns don't just lay scattered around the houseIn my mind, a loaded pistol left in a bag that was packed for a flight is in the same ballpark. That's all I'm saying. Still, as I said, I see this more as a 55 in a 45 kind of thing. Pay the fine and move on with life. I realize, though, that this isn't what he was facing, so I wasn't clear enough. This is the Lord's truth - I only included that in the email to the reporter to see if it would help garner some response from her. It didn't - she hasn't bothered to respond to me, so I guess there's no responsibility to the reader at CA.

You also said: I'd say this guy has already paid plenty for his mistake. Most of us on this forum would agree that under ideal conditions, any of us who wanted to carry, would be allowed to do what this guy inadvertently did. Why does this circumstance make him an "idiot", a "moron" or anything other than a plain old, ordinary, human being? Damn, doesn't anyone here ever make a mistake?I agree. The guy's legal fees alone I'm sure far surpass any fine I might have levied as a juror. The name-calling was out of place, and I retract and apologize.

The Plainsman
July 12, 2003, 05:48 PM
You're a gentleman and a scholar, not to mention a classy guy/person. ;)

Having said that, let me remind us all that there is a difference in the letter and the spirit of the law. In this case, I'd say justice has been served. :)

JDSlack
July 12, 2003, 07:14 PM
Had to be a Webley-Fosbery!

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