Ted Nugent’s wife forgot her gun was in her bag at DFW Airport, lawyer says

Posted Friday, Aug. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The wife of rock guitarist Ted Nugent was “embarrassed” and apologetic after being arrested Thursday for carrying a handgun into a terminal at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, her lawyer said.

Shemane Nugent, 51, was released on her recognizance, lawyer David Finn of Dallas said.

She faces a $2,000 fine and the forfeiture of the gun, he said.

Airport spokesman David Magaña declined to discuss the arrest.

But a redacted arrest report issued after the airport’s legal department reviewed it included that the handgun discovered by TSA screeners who X-rayed Nugent’s black carry-on bag was a Smith and Wesson .38 Special revolver. The revolver was in a black leather zipper case, said airport police officer Gary Goodson — one of two officers called by the screeners. In addition, 15 rounds of .38-caliber ammunition were found, the report said.

Goodson reported that there were five rounds in the revolver, and 10 rounds in a side pocket of the leather case.

He added that when he asked Nugent prior to opening the bag if there were items in it that he should be aware of she immediately stated, "I know what the problem is. I forgot the gun was in the bag."

Goodson said that Nugent told him she has a Texas concealed handgun license and knew that it is illegal to bring a weapon into an airport’s secure area.

“Ms. Nugent further stated she had received death threats and had been carrying the weapon for protection,” Goodson reported. “She stated she carries it in the black bag while attending her physical training classes. Ms. Nugent stated she forgot the pistol was in the bag and used the bag as carryon [sic] to fly.”

Shemane Nugent “is a mom with absolutely no criminal history” who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, Finn said.

The case will probably be reviewed by a Tarrant County grand jury, and he is “optimistic” about the outcome for his client, he said.

“She is very embarrassed,” Finn said. She wanted to apologize to authorities and to any passengers who might have been inconvenienced, he said.

“It was an honest mistake,” Finn said. “I don’t want to minimize it and make it sound like it’s no big deal, especially after 9-11.

“She gets that, and Ted gets that.”

Finn said he has represented clients in similar cases, including Judith Kenney, an attorney from Addison who, in January 2012, went through a security checkpoint at DFW with a .38-caliber revolver in a carry-on bag.

He said Kenney, like Shemane Nugent, forgot the gun was in her bag. A grand jury declined to indict her on a charge of taking a gun into a prohibited place.

To win a conviction on that charge, prosecutors must prove the defendant carried the gun into the airport in an intentional or reckless manner, said Finn, a former prosecutor and trial judge.

The TSA reported in July that for the first six months of this year, screeners found 894 guns on passengers or in their carry-on bags nationwide, which was up about 30 percent from the same period last year.

Of the 12 airports with the most guns seized last year, five were in Texas — DFW, 80; George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, 52; Dallas Love Field, 37; William P. Hobby in Houston, 35, and Austin-Bergstrom International, 33.

There were 96 cases at DFW in 2010, but in most of those cases, prosecutors did not pursue charges, according to an earlier report.

“This is a regular occurrence, unfortunately,” Finn said. “Good, law-abiding people make these kinds of mistakes.”

Shemane and Ted Nugent, married since 1989, live near Waco in McLennan County.

Ted Nugent has long been an outspoken conservative, especially about gun rights. His hunting pursuits have been featured on his TV show, Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild.

In recent years, he has been fined for game law violations in California and Alaska.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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