Tim Donnelly says he ‘never got around’ to registering handgun

Tim Donnelly
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) dismissed concerns about his failure to register a handgun he purchased. Above, Donnelly at a gun range in Santa Cruz County this month.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO -- Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican candidate for governor, was back on the radio Wednesday to talk about firearms, this time fielding questions about his failure to register a handgun he illegally took to an airport in 2012.

“I just never got around to it,” he told talk-show hosts John and Ken on Burbank-based KFI-AM.

Donnelly said he purchased the handgun when he was heading to the Mexican border to patrol with the Minutemen.

“Sometimes when you buy a gun from a private party, you don’t realize that they might not have registered it and done all the paperwork,” Donnelly said.


He acknowledged the buyer is also supposed to do the paperwork, but brushed aside the controversy. He accused The Times of having a political agenda for reporting that the gun was registered to an elderly woman who said she never met the San Bernardino County lawmaker.

Donnelly was caught with the handgun at Ontario International Airport in January 2012, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was placed on probation for three years. He has described the incident as an “honest mistake,” saying he had forgotten to remove the weapon from his briefcase.

He previously went on John and Ken’s show to defend his use of borrowed firearms at a gun range despite the terms of his plea agreement. San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos said Donnelly would not face any legal consequences for his actions at the gun range.

In the Capitol on Thursday, Donnelly declined to answer additional questions about the purchase of his handgun, which was destroyed by law enforcement authorities.


“I’ve said everything I’m going to say on that,” he told The Times.


Tim Donnelly gets fine, probation after plea on gun charges

No legal action for Tim Donnelly’s gun use, prosecutor says

Gun Donnelly had at airport wasn’t registered to him, records show

Twitter: @chrismegerian

Get our Essential California newsletter