A 36-year-old San Diego resident has been sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine after been found guilty of attempting to smuggle a Glock 19 replica ‘ghost gun’ onboard a flight to the United Kingdom where possession of firearms is strictly outlawed.
Elan Leroy Gwynn was also found guilty by the United States District Court for the Southern State of California of possession of several grams of methamphetamine – a substance that he initially told TSA officers was salt for his margaritas.
Gwynn was due to travel with his mother onboard an American Airlines flight from San Diego to Dallas Fort Worth and then onto London Heathrow last March just before Coronavirus restrictions grounded most flights.
According to a criminal complaint filed in court, Gwynn “knowingly” had a concealed weapon in his carry-on luggage which he initially claimed belonged to a friend whose name he couldn’t remember. His mother then claimed the gun belonged to his deceased father and that he had forgotten it was in his carry-on because he was “stressed”.
The replica Glock 19 was found loose at the bottom of his bag and was loaded with a fifteen-round magazine with eleven 9mm rounds of ammunition ready to go. A ‘ghost gun’ is a replica that is typically homemade, not registered and has no serial number. Ghost guns are illegal under California law.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was involved in the investigation over fears that Gwynn would have had ready and easy access to the firearm onboard an international if the TSA hadn’t noticed it during routine x-ray screening.
Although many U.S. airlines allow passengers to carry firearms in their checked luggage on domestic flights, transporting firearms on international services is a lot more complicated and requires special permits and exemptions. Possession of semi-automatic handguns is all but entirely outlawed in the UK.
“Firearms have no place on airplanes and pose a serious threat to all aboard,” commented Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “If individuals engage in this type of dangerous behavior, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will investigate and bring appropriate charges,” Grossman added.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.