Gorka, 46, a former national security editor for Breitbart who lives in Fairfax County, Va., was stopped Jan. 31 last year after he attempted to pass through a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Reagan National Airport with a 9 mm handgun. In August, he entered an Alford plea, which means a defendant acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to obtain a conviction.
Gorka has been an outspoken and controversial public figure about the threat the West faces from radical Islam. Breitbart reported Friday that during his Arlington County Circuit Court appearance in August, Gorka explained that he carried a firearm because he and his family have received death threats, which he reported to the FBI and Fairfax County police. He also said that he was hurrying to catch a flight to a military briefing at the request of the Defense Department when he accidentally mixed up his carry-on bag with one that he had used to take his handgun to a local shooting range, the news site says.
Calls and an email to his lawyer, Christopher G. Oprison, were not immediately returned.
Gorka was one of a record number of travelers to have attempted to go through a TSA checkpoint with a firearm last year. The TSA found 3,391 firearms in carry-ons in 2016, up from 2,653 in 2015, the previous record.