Author John Maxwell Arrested on Firearms Charge

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What happens when you try to board a flight with a concealed handgun? Author John Maxwell found out the hard way.  Maxwell was simply trying to board a flight in Palm Beach, FL when he was arrested for having a concealed weapon in his briefcase.

No, it was not a comedy of errors, and Maxwell was arrested under Section 790.1, a felony of the third degree in Florida. Undoubtedly he will be hearing from the FBI soon, since trying to board a plane with a firearm is also a Federal offense.

According to WPTV in Palm Beach, “the TSA screener noticed a handgun displayed inside a brown briefcase. Maxwell told TSA officials that the gun was given to him by a friend. Maxwell was charged with possession of a concealed weapon while attempting to board an airplane.” He was arrested, handcuffed, taken to jail and booked. He was later released on $3,000 bond.

Maxwell was formerly the pastor of Skyline Church in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, and he achieved huge sales and a devoted following to his books on leadership, which have sold over 16 million copies.

Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies, and he has been on New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other best-seller lists.

Today, Maxwell is a teaching pastor at Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. He also speaks at church, corporate and governmental gatherings around the country, manages his business interests, and continues to write.

In a post on his blog, Maxwell takes full responsibility for his arrest, blaming it on absent-mindedness. He compares himself with Mr. Magoo, the cartoon character who suffered from poor eyesight and was involved in all sorts of calamities due to his lack of vision.

Maxwell explained that one of his followers gave him the gun at a church service the week before, and he had simply failed to remove it from his briefcase.

Many comments on Maxwell’s blog provided support and encouragement to the leadership guru, and some offered to testify as character witnesses. If convicted, Maxwell could face probation, a fine or prison time.

Maxwell said, “Truly, it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve  ever done.”

Posted March 16, 2009

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