State Senator Donne Trotter of Chicago is spending the night in jail on a felony charge of trying to carry a gun and ammunition onto a plane.
He was stopped at an O’Hare security checkpoint Wednesday morning.
Trotter has announced his candidacy to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.
Authorities found a .25-caliber Beretta in his garment bag, and a clip containing six live rounds in a separate side pocket, according to police, who said the gun was not loaded.
Trotter told police he worked late Tuesday night at his job as a security guard for All Points Security and packed his bag early this morning, police said. They said he told authorities he didn’t realize the gun was in the bag.
The gun is the same one he uses for work, police said. He has a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and has a permit with the Illinois Department of Financial and Profession Regulation to work as a security guard, police said.
Trotter is due in bond court Thursday morning.
The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.