Last week, Illinois state Sen. Donne Trotter added a congressional candidacy to his resume. On Wednesday, he added a felony charge of attempting to board an aircraft with a weapon. Sentencing guidelines for the single criminal count call for between one and three years in prison.
Trotter’s official biography on the website of the Illinois Department of Public Health describes him as “an advocate of gun control.”
Police say Trotter tried to get a loaded .25 caliber handgun through a security checkpoint at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport around 7:00 Wednesday morning. The weapon was in his carry-on bag and loaded with seven rounds, a TSA spokesman told WBBM-TV2, Chicago’s CBS affiliate. There wasn’t a round in the gun’s chamber.
The TV station reported that Trotter had a valid ID card required of firearm owners in Illinois, but it was not clear if the pistol itself was registered with the city of Chicago — a step required by law.
The state senator announced on Nov. 26 that he would contend for the Democratic nomination to succeed former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress. Jackson resigned in disgrace amid allegations that he misused campaign funds.
But instead of promoting his candidacy, Trotter remained in custody Wednesday evening. He is expected to attend a bond hearing Thursday.
He reportedly told police that he moonlights at a security firm and forgot to take the gun out of his garment bag before going to the airport. Trotter was attempting to board a flight to Washington, D.C.