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Representative Lee Chatfield not to be charged for bringing gun to airport

Flickr User Jason O'Halloran

A top-ranking Republican in the Michigan House will not face criminal charges after bringing an unregistered gun to the airport.

Representative Lee Chatfield of Levering says he accidentally brought the firearm to the Pellston Regional Airport in July.

Emmet County Prosecutor James Linderman says he cannot charge Chatfield under current law.

“Mr. Chatfield entered the Pellston Regional Airport with a firearm and everybody realizes this is a dangerous situation. The issue that I have though is the criminal statute prohibiting this under Michigan law, I believe has a serious flaw in it.”

Linderman says Michigan law prohibits firearms in a quote “sterile area”, but it points to a federal law to define what those “areas” are.

He says that definition was removed back in 2001, making it unclear where firearms are prohibited.

But according to The Detroit News, other Michigan officials have been charged after bringing firearms to the airport.

Chatfield did not immediately return requests for comment.

He did apologize on Facebook, saying he made an inexcusable mistake.

Chatfield has a Republican challenger in the upcoming primary election.

Prosecutor Linderman says Chatfield could still be fined by airport security or the Emmet County.