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Security

Rock Guitarist Charged With Carrying Gun on Aircraft

Rock Guitarist Charged With Carrying Gun on Aircraft
Joe Cortez

Rick Derringer claims that he carries a gun on flights up to 50 times a year, according to federal complaint.

A Grammy-winning rock guitarist is facing federal charges of carrying a firearm aboard a commercial flight amid his claims he flies with a weapon up to “50 times a year.” The Associated Press reports that 69-year-old Rick Derringer is facing criminal charges after allegedly being found with a weapon at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in January 2017.

Derringer was stopped at the airport upon returning from Cancun, Mexico aboard a Delta Air Lines Flight. After passing through Customs and going through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint prior to his connection into Sarasota, Florida, his bag was flagged for additional screening when federal prosecutors claim a clip containing five bullets was found. In a physical search, the complaint alleges that Derringer was found with a pistol in his carry-on bag, loaded with five rounds of ammunition.

When questioned by an air marshal about his carry-on luggage, authorities say Derringer claimed he knew about the pistol and thought it was cleared to travel with him because he has a concealed carry permit in Florida. Furthermore, the guitarist allegedly claimed that he routinely flies with the pistol “30 to 50 times a year” to federal authorities.

According to court documents obtained by the AP, Derringer was supposedly allowed to board with the weapon at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) on the first leg of his trip, before continuing on to Cancun via ATL. The security checkpoint at SRQ is managed by Trinity Technology Group, a private security firm that provides screening at 14 airports across the United States. A spokesperson for the airport says that the screener that allowed Derringer to pass has been terminated.

Derringer is best known for his work with The McCoys and Steely Dan, as well as his own 1974 hit “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” Through his manager, the guitarist said he would work with federal authorities to clear his name.

[Photo: RickDerringer.com]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. Sabai

    February 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Was the weapon in question a Derringer as well?

  2. Daner

    February 15, 2017 at 2:24 am

    I’m having trouble understanding how he can openly claim to have broken federal law 30 to 50 times a year, while simultaneously working with federal authorities to clear his name.

    Might be easier to understand if he had been carrying one of these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derringer

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