Gun charges dropped against tea party leader

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter

Felony gun charges have been dropped against Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler, who on Thursday agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and pay a fine.

In an episode that outraged 2nd amendment advocates, Meckler in December was arrested at a New York City airport after attempting to check a locked gun box holding his Glock 27 pistol and ammunition with a Delta Air Lines ticket agent. (RELATED: Full coverage of the tea party movement)

Authorities said he was arrested because, despite holding a concealed-carry permit for his pistol at home in California, he did not have the gun registered in New York where he was attempting to board the plane.

On his blog Thursday, Meckler called the episode “a horrible nightmare for my family.”

Recalling being arrested, he said: “To say that I was stunned would be an understatement. … I have always considered myself a law-abiding citizen. I have never been arrested before.”

He said authorities won’t give him his gun back, calling that decision “government robbery.”

“There is no law that allows them to confiscate a weapon in this manner,” he said. “They simply say ‘no’ when you ask for your weapon back. This is apparently their ‘policy.’ It is done regularly in New York.”

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