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Ex-House speaker accused of having gun at airport

Former Georgia House Speaker Terry Coleman.

Former Georgia House Speaker Terry Coleman.

ATLANTA — A former speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives is accused of having a gun at a security checkpoint in Atlanta's airport.

Authorities say former Rep. Terry Coleman of Eastman was apprehended by police after a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted what appeared to be a pistol inside his briefcase. Police found a .22-caliber handgun.

Coleman appeared before a judge with his ankles shackled. His attorney, Bob Quinn, told the judge this was Coleman's first arrest.

It wasn't immediately known when Coleman was arrested at the airport. Every year, dozens of passengers are apprehended when mistakenly carrying weapons through Atlanta's airport. TSA officials say about 100 handguns were confiscated at Atlanta's airport in 2012.

The 69-year-old Coleman served more than 30 years in the Georgia House.