It’s embarrassing enough when you’re a gun-grabbing politician who gets caught with a weapon at the airport. The shame increases exponentially when it gets found in your man-purse.
Meet California state Assemblyman Jim Cooper of Sacramento, a Democrat and retired law enforcement officer who served as a captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, according to his legislative biography. He’s running for the county’s sheriff’s post in November, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Thus, he doesn’t just have to explain to his district’s constituents why the loaded gun was found in his murse, he’s going to have to explain to a whole new cohort of voters why it was in there, too.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper announces run for Sacramento County sheriff https://t.co/Gvl33dBRlc
— FOX40 News (@FOX40) February 10, 2022
Stop the censors, sign up to get today’s top stories delivered right to your inbox
On March 8, the Bee reported that Assemblyman Cooper was caught with the gun March 3 at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Sacramento International Airport. The newspaper reported that “typically,” a traveler could be charged with a misdemeanor for having a gun at the airport, but state law makes an exception for retired law enforcement officers.
Guns, however, are never allowed in carry-on luggage, a Transportation Security Administration official told the Bee.
(This is the kind of rank hypocrisy over guns that many liberals employ — something we’ve pointed out not infrequently here at The Western Journal. We believe Americans have the constitutional right to arm themselves and that, if there’s a breach of gun law, politicians should be held to the same standard as anyone else. We’ll keep the gun-grabbers’ feet to the fire — and you can help us by subscribing.)
According to the Bee’s report, the gun was found in Cooper’s purse, a bag he was in control of.
He wasn’t cited at the time, although Sacramento County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Rodney Grassman said the case was “under review” and that a citation could be issued later on.
A spokesman for Cooper’s office in the state Capitol, Skyler Wonnacott, insisted to the Bee that there was nothing untoward about Cooper carrying a gun at the airport — and don’t call it a “purse,” for heaven’s sake!
“There is nothing ‘murky’ about the law. That’s why his firearm was returned to him by the Sheriff’s department,” Wonnacott told the Bee. “The gun was in his male messenger bag, which looks like a purse.”
However, KCRA-TV’s coverage made it clear that it was a purse, too:
“The sheriff’s office says the loaded gun was found inside a purse that was tucked inside a bag that Cooper was trying to board with,” the station’s Brittany Johnson reported. (About the 30-second mark of the video below.)
Cooper got the weapon back after his return flight two days later.
“Grassmann said sheriff’s officials confiscated the gun and placed it in a locked box at the airport before Cooper departed Thursday on his flight to Las Vegas,” the Bee reported. “He said the handgun was given back to Cooper when he returned on Saturday to Sacramento. Grassmann said other law enforcement officers are offered that same courtesy.”
As the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action noted, this raised some serious issues, not the least of which was the obvious double standard.
A violation of the section of the California Penal Code dealing with possessing a gun in the “sterile area of an airport or a passenger vessel terminal” is “punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.”
Yet retired law enforcement officers with concealed carry licenses are exempt. With all due respect to retired law enforcement, what about law-abiding civilian Americans with concealed carry licenses? Not having spent a career in law enforcement doesn’t diminish an American’s Second Amendment rights.
Meanwhile, as the NRA-ILA noted: “Under federal law, those found with firearms at a TSA checkpoint are often subject to stiff fines. According TSA’s enforcement sanction guidance table, a person found with a loaded gun should be charged a civil fine of $3,000-$10,000 for a first offense.”
That doesn’t vary no matter whether or not you’re a retired law enforcement officer or whether the gun is suitably emasculated by being put in a man-purse.
And, of course, Cooper has no intention of practicing what he preaches.
“Despite quite obviously enjoying his own Right-to-Carry, Cooper is no defender of the Second Amendment. In 2016, Cooper authored so-called ‘ghost gun’ legislation in the form of AB857,” the NRA-ILA noted.
“The bill criminalized the traditional right of Americans to make their own firearms for personal use without government interference.”
“Ghost guns” — weapons that are often 3D-printed and don’t carry serial numbers — is the latest moral panic from the left, despite the fact they have little practical effect on crime and if you believe the right to own guns is part of the Second Amendment, the right to build guns is part of it, too.
You can’t be pro-First Amendment and ban home churches, saying they don’t fit under the free exercise clause. It doesn’t compute.
The NRA-ILA also noted it “understands that otherwise law-abiding gun owners who mistakenly carry a firearm into an airport security checkpoint should be shown the same courtesy as Assemblyman Cooper. That’s why NRA-ILA has worked with state lawmakers to create safe harbor laws that protect gun owners who make this unfortunate mistake.”
Don’t expect Assemblyman Cooper to back them up — the Democratic record on gun rights is too clear.
No matter what the outcome of his case is, rest assured he’ll learn almost nothing from the experience — especially if and when he cracks down on gun owners as sheriff. At least they won’t cut quite so pathetic a figure as to keep their guns in their man purse, however.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.