The gun was reported to the Atlanta Police Department via the Transportation Security Administration screeners at the airport. The owner of the weapon, Richard Popkin of Kathleen, Georgia, was showing Atlanta police officer N.J. Phillips how to clear the loaded .22 magnum revolver when it inadvertently discharged.
Phillips stated that thankfully; “the weapon was pointed down towards the screening table. I was grazed by a pellet fragment on the left side of my face. However, there were no visible injuries.”
Popkin stated he originally intended to check the bag instead of using the carry-on. He changed his mind when he became concerned about the weight of the checked in luggage. Popkin was charged with carrying a deadly weapon at a public gathering.