West News Wire: Actor and comedian Mike Epps was attempting to board a flight at Indianapolis International Airport when federal agents discovered a loaded rifle in his carry-on luggage, according to airport police.
The Smith & Wesson.38-caliber revolver was found inside Epps’ rucksack by TSA officials early on Sunday, according to airport police. Epps, 52, admitted to forgetting he had the handgun in his backpack to TSA officials at the screening.
Authorities took the weapon, but they didn’t detain Epps. Epps’ destination or if he was flying alone were not disclosed by airport officials. The Marion County prosecutor’s office has been given the case by the TSA to determine whether charges should be filed.
Michael Leffler, a spokesman, stated on Wednesday that the prosecutor’s office is looking into the situation.
“These matters rarely result in criminal charges,” Leffler said.
“I think it is important to note that the burden of proof required by statute and case law requires you to prove whether an individual knowingly or intentionally brought the firearm,” he added. “Generally speaking, the most common circumstance is that firearms located by TSA or airport police are unintentionally left in bags.”
Epps, an Indianapolis native, has starred in movies including “The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2,” “Next Friday” and “Friday After Next.” He appears in the upcoming Marvel movie “Madame Web” starring Dakota Johnson, and the Apple TV+ series “Lady in the Lake” starring Natalie Portman.
Last year, the Transportation Security Administration seized a record 6,542 guns at airports around the country. Most people who are stopped for having a gun at an airport checkpoint say they forgot they had the weapon with them.