Kelly McCarthy may be the only adult in America who thinks it’s legal for some airline passengers to bring firearms onto planes in their carry-on bags. So, it only makes sense that Kelly McCarthy is a Cook County judge.
McCarthy’s stunning misunderstanding of the law came during a bond court hearing on Friday for Victor Aguilar, a Chicago Public Schools teacher and concealed carry holder, who allegedly had a loaded handgun in his backpack at O’Hare.
Aguilar, who was reportedly heading to sunny Orlando, was arrested after a TSA screener spotted the weapon in his bag as it passed through an X-ray machine inside Terminal 3 on Thursday, a prosecutor said.
Aguilar, 27, is a science teacher at Inter-American Magnet School in Lakeview, according to the school’s website. He is charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed firearm in an airport.
McCarthy and the prosecutor engaged in an awkward exchange after she was presented with the state’s allegations during Aguilar’s bond hearing.
McCarthy: I have a question. He has a valid [Firearm Owner’s ID] and a valid [concealed carry license], but the basis of this allegation is that he didn’t have it properly stored, correct?
Prosecutor: Based on the facts, it’s that he carried it through the X-ray machine…
McCarthy: Well, you can do that. It just has to be stored properly …
Prosecutor: I’m not aware of the proper procedure at this time, your honor.
McCarthy: Okay. All right. My understanding is that it has to be properly stored and it can’t be loaded. It has to be in a locked case.
Do yourself a favor: Never, ever, ever, ever, ever try to take a firearm through airport security. It is not legal.
McCarthy released Aguilar on his own recognizance.
If her name sounds familiar, it’s because we wrote about McCarthy’s stunning debut as a felony bond court judge in November. During her first session, McCarthy set bail for 27 defendants. She gave 22 recognizance bonds — including two charged with felony robbery. She refused to grant prosecutors’ requests to have several defendants held without bail, including one charged with attempted murder for allegedly beating, stomping, and choking his pregnant girlfriend for 20 minutes.
In one case, even though nobody asked for it, McCarthy took the unprecedented step of ordering a robbery victim to show up in court to be served with an order to protect the man who allegedly robbed her at gunpoint.