Colorado lawmaker out on bond after TSA finds loaded gun in bag at DIA
State Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) attempted to shield her face from a news camera as she made her first court appearance after being arrested for having a loaded gun in a bag being screened at Denver International Airport.
According to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday morning, a TSA agent screening bags through the X-ray machine at one of the north security lanes at DIA, found a loaded 9mm handgun in one of Saine's bag. Denver Police notated that it had four bullets, but none in the chamber.
She was arrested for having a firearm at a public transportation facility, which is a felony. Her lawyer told 9NEWS she just forgot the gun was in her bag.
Before she was called to appear before Denver County Court Judge Andrea Eddy, her attorney, Randy Corporon, asked to approach the judge along with the prosecutor.
When the sidebar was complete, Saine was allowed to stay behind the glass partition for her first advisement. About a dozen other arrestees that were called before the judge in the 45 minutes before Saine had to stand at the podium outside of the partition.
Saine WAS released from custody after the judge gave her a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. That means Saine does not have to pay to get out of jail, but if she fails to show up at her next court date, she'll be held on a $5,000 bond.
She was released from jail around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to Denver Police, in the last year, officers have responded to 106 reports of a firearm in a security checkpoint. Saine is only the second person arrested. Corporon told 9NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger that she asked for an attorney and did not say anything after that. When asked if that would automatically lead to an arrest, Corporon said that would be the first time he's heard of something like that.
According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, 14 people since 2013 have been charged with having a loaded firearm in a public transportation area, though there could be four other cases involving firearms in security checkpoint areas, but the details of those cases are sealed.
After the court appearance, a man wearing a shirt with the nametag, "Troy," which is Saine's husband's name, refused to comment or provide an explanation for Saine having a loaded gun at the airport.
Her attorney said today was simply about getting Saine out of jail and back to her family.
After the TSA agent spotted the gun during the X-ray screening, she notified police and shut down screening at that specific lane. According to TSA, Denver Police would take over from there, determining if an arrest is necessary and possibly confiscating the gun as evidence.
Saine was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement to 9NEWS, Denver Police said the decision to arrest someone is based on how much evidence an officer can gather during the initial investigation.
Regardless of whether a person is jailed, the District Attorney can still decide to press charges.
The gun Saine was carrying is currently in Denver Police's possession.
TSA can issue a civil penalty for a passenger attempting to bring a loaded gun into the airport. The average fine for a first offense is $3,920. The maximum fine for a loaded firearm is $9.800. Civil penalties can go as high as $13,000 for other prohibited items like gun powder or explosives.