Actor and comedian Mike Epps attempted to board a plane with a loaded gun at the Indianapolis International Airport Sunday, Breitbart reported. Federal agents confiscated the weapon but the actor was not arrested or charged.
Transportation Security Administration discovered the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson in a backpack Epps was using as a carry-on. The 52-year-old "Next Friday" star said he forgot that he had the weapon on him when he went through the security checkpoint.
The TSA referred the case to the Marion County prosecutor, but it's unlikely Epps will face criminal charges based on other similar cases. "These matters rarely result in criminal charges," spokesman Michael Leffler said Wednesday.
"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," Leffler explained. "Generally speaking, the most common circumstance is that firearms located by TSA or airport police are unintentionally left in bags."
Epps reached out to his fans in an Instagram post on Wednesday to give his version of the events, according to Fox News. He set the tone by labeling it, "Thank you for understanding."
Epps had performed just the night before with Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse. "I had a long night," he said.
"I had a show in my hometown and I literally forgot that I had my pistol in my bag," Epps said. "I want to give a shout-out to all my fans out there," the star of the upcoming Marvel movie "Madame Web" and Apple TV+ series “Lady in the Lake” said.
"I want to apologize if you're seeing any negativity about a gun charge at an airport," Epps added. He went on to tell his fans to "stay strapped" as he explained his rationale for carrying a firearm in the first place.
"If you want to know why I carry a gun, I carry money all the time," Epps said. "I be having jewelry on, and these dudes is out here robbing people."
"So I just want to make sure I make it clear I ain't out here doing nothing wrong," Epps said. "But I keep a gun on me 'cause I gotta protect myself. Sometimes I ain't with my security," he explained.
"Just want to let y'all know that I'm still on some positive vibes. And sorry that it happened," Epps said.
"All I can tell you is the world is crazy," Epps pointed out. "Stay strapped," he concluded.
Epps isn't alone in being caught by the TSA carrying a weapon. As of December of last year, the TSA found a record-breaking 6,300-plus weapons in carry-on luggage, NPR reported.
It seems this is truly a case of an accidental mishandling of a weapon at the airport. It's understandable why Epps would want to be armed, but it's still important for legal gun owners to follow all laws and regulations.