CHARLOTTE — A family member has described last week’s arrest of Laurinburg attorney Lisa Blalock at a Charlotte airport as a simple mistake by Blalock.
Blalock, a former Laurinburg City council member, was charged with carrying a firearm at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, according to Charlotte police.
She was arrested Thursday along with two other people — Shane Derry and Paula Chipman — for having guns at the airport. Police do not believe the three incidents are related.
Transportation Security Administration officers detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the traveler’s carry-on bags. The first incident happened at 6:30 a.m. at Checkpoint D, the second at Checkpoint B just after 10 a.m. and the third at 9 p.m. at Checkpoint C, according to the TSA.
TSA officers contacted Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, who questioned the passengers then arrested them.
Blalock’s husband, David, said in a Facebook post that his wife forgot she had the gun in her purse.
“She carries it legally, but in her haste to get somewhere she simply made a mistake ( which clearly she is the only one on earth whoever has…) and forgot she had it in her purse,” David Blalock wrote.
Blalock, a former Scotland County sheriff’s deputy, said his wife had recently received some threats and she had gotten a weapon and training to use it.
“I take full responsibility for insisting she carries one even though she had never even shot a gun until we met because I’m not one who will wait on the police to protect myself,” he wrote. “I stand behind her and if that’s the worst thing she’s done she’s doing pretty damn good.”
The legal method of traveling with a firearm is to bring it as checked baggage. The TSA said the firearm should be unloaded and packed and locked in a case with the ammunition packed separately. The firearm should also be taken to the check-in counter.
As of Friday, TSA has found 12 guns at CLT checkpoints. TSA reportedly found 53 firearms at the airport last year.