ARLINGTON, Virginia – The chief judge of Arlington County’s Circuit Court in Virginia dismissed a misdemeanor charge that Dr. Sebastian Gorka, White House deputy assistant and former Breitbart News national security editor, had been facing for taking a legally owned unloaded gun through a TSA checkpoint at Reagan National Airport last year.
“Dr. Gorka made a mistake. He started carrying a licensed, concealed weapon after he got death threats against his family,” his lawyer, Christopher Oprison, told reporters.
“He regrets that mistake. Dr. Gorka wants to put this matter behind him and get back to the very important national security work he’s doing,” added the attorney.
Chief Circuit Court Judge William Newman, Jr. dropped the charge under an agreement that resulted in no conviction for Dr. Gorka after he stayed out of trouble for six months and paid a nominal fine.
The court never imposed a sentence on Gorka and, therefore, there was no conviction, explained Dr. Gorka’s attorney.
The attorney suggested that the charge did not affect his client’s national security clearance.
TSA agents allowed Gorka to board his plane after the agency’s X-ray machine detected the unloaded weapon on January 1, 2016, when Gorka was traveling at the behest of the Pentagon to give a briefing on the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) headquarters in Florida.
Speaking on behalf of Gorka, his lawyer thanked TSA agents for keeping the nation safe.
During the final adjudication hearing of the case Friday, Judge Newman declared that “the court is moving to dismiss the case.”
Gorka had not been required to attend, according to the judge.
The judge and the Commonwealth attorney’s office acknowledged that Gorka fulfilled all the court’s instructions.
Death threats against himself and his family prompted Dr. Gorka to regularly attend the shooting range and carry his gun for which he has a concealed carry permit. He explained that when he was on his way to Reagan National, he accidentally grabbed the bag he takes to the range, which contained an unloaded 9mm.
The TSA X-ray machine detected the weapon. After showing a TSA agent his U.S. Department of Defense identification card, he was issued a fine but was allowed to board his flight.
He was also ordered to appear in court in Arlington County, and county law enforcement later confiscated his weapon.