Ted Nugent's wife arrested at Texas airport for having gun in carry-on

Bill Miller
FILE- In this June 16, 2009, file photo, musician Ted Nugent and wife, Shemane Ann Nugent, arrive at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Shemane Nugent has been arrested after a handgun was found in her carry-on luggage at an airport security checkpoint. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport confirmed that Nugent was taken into custody Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini/ File)
Evan Agostini
This undated booking photo provided by the DFW Airport Police shows 51-year-old Shemane Ann Nugent, the wife of musician Ted Nugent. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport confirmed that 51-year-old Nugent was taken into custody Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, after a handgun was found in her carry-on luggage at an airport security checkpoint. (AP Photo/DFW Airport Police)

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The wife of rock guitarist Ted Nugent was "embarrassed" and apologetic after being arrested Thursday for carrying a handgun into a terminal at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, her lawyer said.

Shemane Nugent, 51, was released on her recognizance, lawyer David Finn of Dallas said.

She faces a $2,000 fine and the forfeiture of the gun, he said.

Airport spokesman David Magana declined to discuss the arrest, saying only that an arrest report will be issued after the airport's legal department reviews it.

Shemane Nugent "is a mom with absolutely no criminal history" who has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, Finn said.

The case probably will be reviewed by a Tarrant County grand jury, and he is "optimistic" about the outcome for his client, he said.

Shemane Nugent had been working late the night before her early-morning flight, and she forgot that the gun was in her bag until Transportation Security Administration screeners detected it, Finn said.

"She is very embarrassed," Finn said. She wanted to apologize to authorities and to any passengers who might have been inconvenienced, he said.

"It was an honest mistake," Finn said. "I don't want to minimize it and make it sound like it's no big deal, especially after 9-11.

"She gets that, and Ted gets that."

Finn said he has represented clients in similar cases, including Judith Kenney, an attorney from Addison, Texas, who, in January 2012, went through a security checkpoint at DFW with a .38-caliber revolver in a carry-on bag.

He said Kenney, like Shemane Nugent, forgot the gun was in her bag. A grand jury declined to indict her on a charge of taking a gun in a prohibited place.

To win a conviction on that charge, prosecutors must prove the defendant carried the gun into the airport in an intentional or reckless manner, said Finn, a former prosecutor and trial judge.

The TSA reported in July that for the first six months of this year, screeners found 894 guns on passengers or in their carry-on bags nationwide, which was up about 30 percent from the same period last year.

Of the 12 airports with the most guns seized last year, five were in Texas -- DFW, 80; George Bush Intercontinental in Houston, 52; Dallas Love Field, 37; William P. Hobby in Houston, 35, and Austin-Bergstrom International, 33.

There were 96 cases at DFW in 2010, but in most of those cases, prosecutors did not pursue charges, according to an earlier report.

"This is a regular occurrence, unfortunately," Finn said. "Good, law-abiding people make these kinds of mistakes."

Shemane and Ted Nugent, married since 1989, live near Waco in McLennan County, Texas.

Ted Nugent has long been an outspoken conservative, especially about gun rights. His hunting pursuits have been featured on his TV show, "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild."

In recent years, he has been fined for game law violations in California and Alaska.


By Bill Miller
Fort Worth Star-Telegram