The Clarion-Ledger, 3/22/9

Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute Mayor Frank Melton for bringing his guns aboard commercial flights from Jackson and elsewhere, even though investigators determined he broke the law, according to a report released this month.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration looked into Melton’s practice in 2005 and 2006 of presenting himself to airport authorities as a law enforcement officer in order to fly armed. Records show Melton used this method to fly armed out of Jackson, New York, Washington, D.C., and other airports.

Melton claimed that as the city’s top official, he could represent law enforcement.

When TSA officials learned of the flights in early 2006, they talked with Melton, who had been accompanied by his two police bodyguards on most of the flights, and warned him not to do it anymore. But a report by the Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General reveals TSA investigators later referred the case to then-U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton for prosecution.