A recent incident at the Sacramento International Airport caused quite a stir. According to reports from federal law enforcement officials, a 45-year-old man was suspected of trying to bring four loaded firearms, ammunition and knives through a security checkpoint. Now, the man is being charged with at least four different federal firearms offenses. The man's family has indicated that he has struggled with severe depression for several years.
The incident began when Transportation Security Administration agents reportedly noticed a gun in the man's carry-on bag as he attempted to pass through airport security. After following up on their suspicions, the agents found several more weapons and ammunition in the carry-on bag and on his person. Soon, the man was taken into custody by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. A follow-up search was performed on the man's, which apparently uncovered additional weapons.
The man's mother, who was interviewed by telephone, told reporters that the man has suffered from depression ever since he became divorced. Since that time the man also lost his home to foreclosure, which only exacerbated his mental condition. He was in Sacramento to receive treatment for his depression.
Now, the man is facing very serious federal weapons charges, including "unlawful possession of a loaded firearm" and "possession of a firearm within a sterile area of an airport." As federal officials continue their probe into the situation, more charges could be filed. Soon, the man will face his first day in court.
Despite the very serious nature of these federal weapons charges, the man deserves the ability to defend himself in a court of law. Clearly, there are a lot of complicated issues at work in the man's life. He has very likely not been in a proper state of mind during the course of his longstanding struggle with depression. Like everyone else accused of a crime, the man has the constitutional right to assemble a strong defense on his behalf. In this particular case, this man may consider hiring legal counsel that fully understands the complexities of his situation and nature of federal weapons charges.
Source: CBS Sacramento, "Man Carrying Loaded Weapons Arrested At Sacramento Airport," Tony Lopez, March 23, 2012