According to the Tampa Bay Times, a Transportation Security Administration agent spotted the handgun as Plies’ bag went through the X-ray machine. When searching the bag, agents also discovered a loaded magazine, but didn’t say whether the handgun had been loaded. Sources close to the rapper Plies, whose real name is Algernod Lanier Washington, told TMZ that Plies didn’t know that the firearm was in the bag.
According to Airport Police Chief Charlie Vazquez, police arrested Plies because he didn’t have a concealed-carry permit.
“In most cases you’d just walk back to your car,” Vazquez said.
However, because Plies didn’t have a permit, he faces one charge of carrying a concealed firearm. Unfortunately, Plies has faced gun charges before. In 2006, police arrested Plies for illegal possession of a concealed weapon after shots rang out during one of his concerts at the 238 West club in Gainesville. Plies pleaded no contest to those charges, but received no jail time. However, victims later sued Plies over the incident, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Police arrested Plies without incident at the Florida airport. Later in the evening, Plies posted a $2,000 bond and was released from the Hillsborough County Jail.
TSA Firearm Regulations
Flying with a firearm is legal. However, travelers must follow TSA regulations, as well as local, state and international laws. The TSA requires firearms to be unloaded and locked in a hard case, and placed in checked baggage. Additionally, travelers must declare firearms during the check-in process, and allow inspection to ensure proper procedure of transport.
Travelers must also place all firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, in checked baggage. This includes replica firearms, such as toy guns.