KDVR FOX 31 reports that Rep. Lori Saine of Weld County was released late yesterday from Denver County jail on a personal recognizance bond, while the Denver DA’s office determines what charges to file after Saine walked into a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport carrying a loaded 9mm pistol:
Saine “knowingly” brought the weapon to the north security checkpoint, according to a probable cause statement.
However, Saine’s attorney, Randy Corporon, denied that claim on Wednesday night, saying she “forgot it was in her bag.”
DIA ranked fifth highest for firearms discovered in carry-on bags in the United States last year.
In the past 12 months, the Denver Police Department responded to 106 reports of a firearm within a security checkpoint at the airport.
Besides Saine, only one other person was arrested and jailed by police for possession of the weapon.
In response to news reports that many people busted with guns at DIA security checkpoints have not been arrested, social media lit up in the last 24 hours with conspiracist speculation that Rep. Saine might have been “targeted” some way due to her political affiliation. The implication that federal Transportation Security Administration and Denver Police Department professionals would in some way be harsher on a Republican lawmaker than others is not borne out by experience, and is dubious to the point of being counterproductive as a defense.
It therefore remains to be seen what the aggravating factor was in Saine’s case that resulted in her not only being cited but arrested and booked into Denver County jail–and we have no reason to assume there isn’t one. Did Rep. Saine attempt to use her status as a lawmaker to intimidate or otherwise persuade police officers to go easy on her? Did she have some kind of half-baked outburst about her “sovereign right” to pack heat? There is much left to be reported about the circumstances of Saine’s arrest, and our first instinct is not to imagine she was being persecuted.
Because in the end, there is only one person responsible for a loaded 9mm pistol being in Rep. Lori Saine’s possession as she entered an airport security checkpoint, and that is Rep. Lori Saine. This kind of negligence with firearms, in addition to posing a security risk at airports, is responsible for thousands of preventable deaths each year. We said the same thing back in 2014 when then-Rep. Jared Wright left a loaded handgun unattended in a hearing room at the Colorado state capitol. As a lead sponsor of legislation to repeal the gun safety laws passed in 2013, the only way Rep. Saine could have embarrassed herself more in this situation would be to have literally shot herself in the foot.
As it was she only did so metaphorically, and thank goodness nobody was hurt–which could well have been someone Rep. Saine cares about. Either way, we should all be able to agree that nobody with such a demonstrable instance of irresponsibility with guns should be trying to weaken our state’s gun laws.