David Huckabee, a son of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, was arrested at Little Rock's airport Thursday after a federal X-ray technician detected a loaded Glock pistol in his carry-on luggage.
"I removed the bag and asked Mr. Huckabee if he knew what he had in the bag," Little Rock police officer Arthur Nugent wrote in a report after being summoned to a security checkpoint. "He replied he did now."
Huckabee, 26, later pleaded guilty in Little Rock District Court after being charged with possessing a weapon in a prohibited place. District Judge Lee Munson gave Huckabee a one-year suspended jail sentence and ordered him into 10 days of community service — which Huckabee can avoid by paying $100. Huckabee will be on probation for a year. Fines and costs totaled $605.
The son of the former Arkansas governor holds a concealed weapons permit. The elder Huckabee, who said last week that Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui perhaps could have been stopped if a teacher or student had also been armed, also has a concealed weapons permit.
Neither the former governor nor David Huckabee returned telephone messages seeking comment.
Nugent said David Huckabee had a .40-caliber Glock pistol in his black carry-on bag. Eight live rounds were in the gun — none in the chamber — and a nine-round clip was also in the bag. The weapon and ammunition were detained by Little Rock police while David Huckabee's gun permit was seized and given to the Arkansas State Police.
Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings said it is not unusual for people to forget they have a gun in their carry-on luggage.
A Transportation Security Administration worker summoned police after seeing the image of a gun on an X-ray machine. Little Rock police checked the bag and found the gun and ammunition, said Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman in Miami.
Koshetz and Little Rock police did not know where Huckabee was heading.
Koshetz said any interruption of security checks for other passengers would have lasted only a moment. She said Huckabee — whom she declined to identify by name — was cooperative and that other passengers were not endangered by the incident.
In addition to the criminal charge, TSA can seek separate civil penalties, Koshetz said.
In 1998, David Huckabee was among two boys fired from a Boy Scout camp after a stray dog was killed after wandering onto camp property. David Huckabee, 17 at the time, said the dog appeared ill; no charges were filed. The elder Huckabee said then that politics was behind the dog-killing accusation.