LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Former state Sen. Jason Rapert was caught with two loaded guns in his carry-on luggage at Little Rock National Airport Wednesday.
A Little Rock Police Department report filed Wednesday afternoon states police were called to the checkpoint when a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted two guns in a passenger’s luggage. The bag was a backpack belonging Rapert, the report said.
The report said LRPD officers unloaded both firearms, rendering them safe. The report stated that one of the two handguns was a Tarus revolver holding six rounds, and the second was a Browning semi-automatic pistol with seven rounds in its magazine and no round in the firing chamber.
Rapert told police he did not know the guns were in his bag, according to the report. Police confirmed that he had a concealed carry firearms permit.
Rapert took the two pistols to his car and continued his trip, the report stated.
A TSA spokesperson said the agency does not seize weapons from travelers, adding that when weapons are found, TSA contacts local law enforcement for a response.
“Rapert had no criminal record and both weapons were clean. They were both run through ACIC,” the report concluded.
The former senator issued a statement acknowledging his mistake.
“I travel frequently around the country and always try to ensure I have cleared my briefcase or bag of any firearm that I may be carrying while driving. Unfortunately, yesterday as I rushed to board a plane, I thought my bags were clear and they were not,” Rapert said. “The TSA agents and officers were very cordial and the process went as expected. They made their report and returned my firearms which I secured before returning inside and boarding to go on about my business.”
Rapert also offered advice on how others could avoid the same mistake.
“As an Arkansas enhanced concealed carry licensee, though I had checked my bag once, I suggest everyone checking twice to ensure they are not surprised just like I was,” he said. “I appreciate the hard work and security provided by TSA Agents and law enforcement around the country.”
A TSA spokesperson said four firearms were found in three traveler’s carry-on luggage on Thursday at the Little Rock airport, including Rapert’s bag.