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Leadership Guru John Maxwell Arrested for Gun in Luggage
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009

by Bob Smietana - The Tennessean

Bestselling Christian author, pastor and leadership guru John Maxwell was arrested last week after an airport screener found a gun in Maxwell’s carry on luggage.

Maxwell was arrested at Palm Beach International Airport and charged with trying to board a plane with a concealed weapon. He was on his way to a speaking engagement in Dallas.

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Maxwell, whose books on leadership are published by Nashville-based Thomas Nelson, used Twitter to own up to his mistake.

"Definition of stupid," he wrote, "receive gun as gift, forget it's in carry-on, & go to airport. Security not happy. Whole story on my blog later today."

On his blog, Maxwell, who also serves as teaching pastor at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach, described the arrest with the headline, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Maxwell claimed the gun was a gift that he’d forgotten about. He’d been speaking early last week at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, when a church member gave him the gun.

It was meant for his wife, Maxwell claims, to keep her safe while he travels.

He tucked it in his carry baggage, and brought it on private jet flight home. Maxwell said that he’d neglected to take the gun out of the bag.

"Well, off I went to the airport in full Mr. Magoo mode," he wrote. "In security, I put my carry-on bag on the conveyer belt and didn’t think anything of it. Truly, it’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done

You can probably guess the rest. I was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail, where I was fingerprinted and photographed. Needless to say, it opened my eyes to a world I’d seen only in the movies. I was glad when I posted bail and was able to leave."

According to published reports, Maxwell was free on a $3,000 bond and preached Sunday at the Crystal Cathedral in California.

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