Days after he was issued a misdemeanor citation for carrying a loaded firearm into the Ontario airport, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly indicated today that he does not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The question arose Wednesday after the federal Transportation Security Administration said that Donelly's briefcase contained a .45-caliber handgun with four rounds in its magazine, and a spare magazine containing five rounds.
The 45-year-old Twin Peaks Republican said that he had armed himself because of recent death threats, but mistakenly placed the gun in his briefcase last weekend and forgot to retrieve it before going to the Ontario airport for a flight to Sacramento.
Californians with a concealed weapons permit cannot carry a loaded gun onto an airplane. But whether Donnelly had the right to carry a loaded weapon anywhere is a separate question that was not definitely answered Wednesday.
Concealed weapons permits generally have to be obtained in the county or city in which a person lives. Donnelly lives in an unincorporated area in San Bernardino County. Sheriff's officials there said Wednesday that they had not issued him a permit.
Nico Melendez, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said Wednesday that it was his understanding that Donnelly did not possess a concealed weapons permit.
Asked directly today if he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, Donnelly said only that he felt enough information about the concealed weapons permit issue had been released or published already. Asked if that meant that he did not have such a permit, Donnelly deflected the question.
"It's already been spoken to," Donnelly said. "It's certainly not something that I feel that I need to address. I really don't feel that there's anything more that I want to add to that story. I tried to be very forthcoming and put all the information out there ... so, I'm just going to leave it at that."
Donnelly spends about half his time during the legislative year in the capital, but both Sacramento's police and sheriff's departments said Thursday that they have not issued him a concealed weapons permit. Assembly officials said they have not issued him a permit to carry a gun in the Capitol.
Donnelly was cited for possession of a loaded firearm, punishable by a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The Transportation Security Administration also could levy a fine of up to $10,000.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney's currently is reviewing Donnelly's case for a final decision on charges. Spokesman Christopher Lee has declined comment pending completion of the review.