Montrose Council Member Charged With Carrying a Gun Through Montrose Airport Security
by William Woody
Oct 22, 2013 | 3340 views | 1 1 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kathy Ellis
Kathy Ellis

MONTROSE — Montrose City Council member Kathy Ellis was ticketed Monday afternoon for taking a semi-automatic pistol through a security checkpoint at the Montrose Regional Airport.

The incident took place at approximately 1:19 p.m. Ellis was ticketed for a carrying a 25mm semiautomatic in her purse, a class-six felony, according to Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap.

The Transportation Security Administration, which runs the security checkpoint, confirmed the incident Tuesday.

Dunlap said deputies took procession of the pistol Ellis was carrying; it was booked into evidence. The incident will be handled by the Montrose County District Attorney's Office.

"She was more surprised than the people standing around," Dunlap said, of Ellis’ reaction.

"I just forgot it was in my purse. All the time leading up to it, I just felt something was wrong," Ellis said by phone from Las Vegas, where she and her husband, Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis, are attending an aviation conference.

"Gary and I are elected officials and are in the public eye,” she said0. “Gary insisted that I get a permit to carry the gun, largely to protect myself," she added.

Her husband said he was partly to blame for the incident, after insisting, years ago, that his wife, the former mayor of Montrose, apply for and receive a permit to carry a gun.

He wanted her to be permitted to carry a gun for added protection, he said, because she is a public figure and a member of Montrose city government.

Gary Ellis said his wife takes her purse everywhere, with her gun usually inside it, and before traveling, on Monday, instead of leaving the pistol on "the dresser, she just forgot, plain and simple."

Dunlap said in the last three years, since the sheriff's department has had a deputy at the airport, he could recall only two other times that a pistol was found at the TSA checkpoint.

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October 23, 2013
At least her apparently hasty actions are somewhat consistent, since I believe Ellis was the mayor at the time when only two days after the state wide pot legalization amendment passed, the Montrose City Council quickly put the breaks on retail sales within Montrose.

While citing that a majority of constituents opposed the amendment, there was still a substantial number who voted in favor (upwards of 8k out of about 20k total votes).

Regardless of intent, I find it interesting how she apparently pushed the boundaries of her individual rights - to the point of breaking the law, yet seemingly felt perfectly justified in squelching the voices/rights of about 8,000 residents. Take it a level deeper, even if 8,000 smoked pot until they were blue in the face, they in all likelihood couldn't do as much damage as a single person with a semi-auto handgun (for the record, I'm in favor of responsible gun ownership).