An Augusta businessman was found with a gun in his book bag Monday morning while going through security at Augusta Regional Airport, authorities said.
Thomas “Tommy” Duke Wafford, 39, was taken to jail when he could not provide a valid permit for the firearm, said Lauren Smith, spokeswoman for Augusta Regional Airport. He was charged with carrying a weapon at a commercial service airport, a misdemeanor.
The non-license holder was found with a Bersa BP9cc semi-auto 9 mm caliber handgun, which was in a book bag that he gave to be X-rayed at a TSA security checkpoint, an arrest warrant says.
TSA workers have found three other firearms this year, but none of those travelers were arrested because they were able to provide a valid license. “We give them that opportunity but if they cannot provide a valid license, that is when an arrest is made,” Smith said.
Last year, there were nine firearms found in luggage but only three arrests were made.
“If they are going to travel with a firearm, they need to do it real the appropriate way,” Smith said. “They can check it with the airline.”
Wafford reportedly told authorities that it was an accident. Wafford is well-known in the area as the CEO for MealViewer, an Augusta-based company that created the world’s first custom-created platform for school nutrition. In a YouTube video, he told an audience tat he travels a lot.
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