Man pleads guilty after gun brought on airplane

A Montreal man who brought a nine-millimetre handgun and ammunition aboard a flight to Vancouver late last year, has pled guilty to five criminal charges and will be sentenced on Sept. 19.

Barney Patrick Hynes told The Richmond Review earlier this year that he filled out paperwork, contacted the Montreal Police and alerted airport security about the fact he was bringing his Glock handgun on the plane.

To his surprise, after his plane touched down, he was greeted at Vancouver International Airport by Mounties who promptly arrested him following his Dec. 9, 2011 flight.

"(Airport security) had some concerns of stuff that was in the baggage so they brought the Montreal Police into it in Montreal, and they checked everything, and they just packed it away and said 'Let it go,'" Hynes said.

On Tuesday, Hynes pled guilty to five charges, including possessing a restricted weapon, possessing a weapon at an unauthorized place, and two counts of careless use of a firearm.

Neither Hynes nor his lawyer, Derek Birch, would comment prior to sentencing next month.

Hynes said he's a retired combat engineer for Canadian Forces, and was worried his gun might fall into the wrong hands while his nephew kept an eye on his place while he was on the West Coast for a planned month-long trip.

So he contacted the airline about his plan to have his gun and ammunition shipped in his checked-in luggage.

At the airport, he notified security, who then consulted the Montreal Police to ensure everything was above board.

Hynes was then given the green light to fly to Vancouver.

"When I saw them (RCMP officers) come on the plane, I figured, okay, something's happened."

The Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority corroborated much of Hynes' story.

"On Dec. 9, screening officers at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport observed a possible threat item in a checked bag," authority spokesperson Miriam Lehman wrote in an e-mail. "As per our procedures, when an undeclared firearm is observed in checked baggage, law enforcement is called to assist. The Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal cleared the bag and permitted the passenger to proceed. The firearm remained in the passenger’s checked baggage and was not accessible during the flight."

Hynes said he should have done a better job of researching the rules about bringing a weapon with him.

"The blame falls, well, some on me, some on CATSA, some on the Montreal Police. CATSA, because they had no idea of the regulations, and that's what they're supposed to know and they just passed the buck. Montreal police stationed at the airport should have been aware of the regulations too."

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