But, clearly, that is not necessarily true.
Mark Meckler, tea party leader, arrested with gun
A prominent tea party leader was charged with a felony Thursday after he took a gun to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and it was discovered during a pre-flight check-in.
Mark Meckler, co-founder of the conservative Tea Party Patriots group, was arrested after he tried to check in for a Delta airlines flight with a locked box containing a Glock pistol and 19 units of 9mm ammunition, according to a release from the Queens District Attorney’s office.Meckler, who had been in New York since Sunday, allegedly told authorities that he carries the gun because he gets threats.The tea party leader has a permit to carry the weapon in California, but that state’s permit does not allow one to carry a firearm in New York.
“He didn’t have a correct understanding of the law,” said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates LaGuardia, according to the AP. “Though he has a permit to carry in California, that did not cover him in the state of New York.”
The tea party leader’s lawyer argued that he was “in temporary transit through the state of New York in possession of an unloaded, lawful firearm,” and that Mr. Meckler had been fully compliant with all laws, according to The New York Times.
Meckler was arraigned on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a felony that could carry up to 15 years in prison. He was released pending a Jan. 12 court date.
“Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapons laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon. Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony — as is what occurred in this case,” warned Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The Tea Party Patriots group, which Meckler helped found in 2009, has played a major organizational role in the tea party movement — particularly in the demonstrations that were held across the country to encourage government to rein in debt and to oppose President Barack Obama’s initiatives on health care.