Flight attendant detained, charged for carrying loaded gun in her purse

Posted at 10:09 PM, Sep 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-23 22:09:50-04

A Republic Airlines flight attendant was detained and then charged with disorderly conduct after she attempted to pass through security at the Philadelphia International Airport with a loaded .38 revolver in her purse, triggering an incident in which police accidentally discharged the weapon while securing it, authorities said.

According to officials, at 6:33 a.m. today, the flight attendant entered a Terminal C security checkpoint lane with a loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson Airweight revolver in her purse.

A Transportation Security Administration employee discovered the gun on the x-ray machine and notified police.

The flight attendant was taken to secondary screening room, where an airport police officer attempted to unload the gun, and it discharged into a wall.

There were no injuries to passengers, employees or police, officials said.

The flight attendant, who police said had a valid Chester County permit to carry a concealed weapon, was charged with disorderly conduct, as per Airport Unit policy.

The permit was confiscated and forwarded to the Chester County Sheriff, and the weapon — an Airweight revolver — was confiscated by the crime scene unit and transported to for testing.

The actions of the officer who discharged the weapon will be reviewed by the Philadelphia Police Department Internal Affairs unit.

The Airweight is a small frame, aluminum alloy, short barrel personal defense revolver and is among the most popular of these.