Driver With 16 Guns Detained At LA Airport

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man with more than a dozen guns - two of them loaded - and nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck was arrested Friday at a vehicle checkpoint as he entered Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said.

Phillip Dominguez of Orange was booked on suspicion of felony transportation of an assault rifle, but airport police said it appears the man did not intend any harm and was there to pick someone up.

"He just made a very bad decision, and should not have been carrying those weapons," said airport police Sgt. Jim Holcomb.

The weapons - which included 10 handguns, five rifles and an antique black-powder musket - were in containers in the back of the 47-year-old man's truck that was stopped by airport police at Century and Sepulveda boulevards, a major entrance to the passenger terminals area, said airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

Two of the weapons, a revolver and the musket, were loaded, Holcomb said.

Dominguez's wife, Sue Dominguez, told The Associated Press that her husband planned to go target shooting at an outdoor range with a friend who he was picking up at the airport. She said she found out about his arrest from a television news report and they later spoke on the phone.

She described him as a law-abiding citizen who treats his weapons with care.

"The guns are always double-locked. He has all the paperwork and everything. He's a fanatic about making it all legal," she said. "He didn't lie to the police and he said they were polite and respectful to him."

Police initially reported that 37 weapons were found in the truck. Castles said that count was an estimate based on the number of containers in the truck, which did not all contain weapons.

The FBI, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Los Angeles Police Department were investigating
whether the weapons were properly registered and legally owned.

Airport police routinely set up vehicle checkpoints at roads leading into the airport's central ring roads.

"It is rare that this many weapons are discovered together at LAX," airport police Chief George Centeno said.

Sue Dominguez said her husband, who owns a construction company and has collected guns since he was a child, had hired an attorney but she did not know the lawyer's name.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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