An incident at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport in the morning of Thursday, October 12th, turned out to be current Ontario Town Supervisor Frank Robusto, according to the TSA.
TSA officials said that the man, who had not initially been identified by TSA, was walking through the security checkpoint when the officer operating the X-ray spotted what appeared to be a firearm inside the Robusto’s carry-on bag. A deputy of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office inspected the bag and found a handgun loaded with six bullets. Robusto did have a valid pistol permit, but MCSO confiscated the gun.
He will be facing a financial penalty from the TSA, which can go up to a maximum of $15,000.
“I would also like to express my disappointment in a licensed and trained New York State pistol permit holder who did not have the self-awareness of where his handgun was,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “Instead, he entered an active security checkpoint with a loaded handgun and created a potentially dangerous situation through his own actions.”
According to the TSA, passengers are only allowed to travel with a firearm if it is in checked baggage, is unloaded, and placed inside a locked, hard-sided case.
Robusto, when asked for comment, responded: “It was the dumbest thing I have every done in my life. I was mortified and distressed. I was upset that I made that kind of mistake. I want to say that I paid the TSA fine and I was allowed to fly. The TSA is satisfied that it was a mistake and I’m allowed to fly; I’m not on any restricted list. I would, however, have to ask for a court hearing to get my pistol back.”
Robusto, a Republican, not supported by his party this year, ran on an independent line, but failed to garner enough support to be re-elected. The Republican nominee, Ben Aman won the seat by a wide margin and begins his term January 1st, 2024.