A company director from Staffordshire was arrested at Birmingham Airport after forgetting to take a Second World War revolver out of his luggage.
Barton Simpson, 56, had packed the .38 Smith & Weston because he did not want to leave it at home while the decorators were in.
He had intended to take it out of his bag and leave it in his car, but upon arrival forgot to remove it.
Mr Simpson was arrested in May 2012 after turning up at Birmingham Airport to catch a flight to Croatia for a business trip.
At a Warwick Crown Court hearing this week, Mr Simpson, who inherited the gun from his father around 50 years ago, was given a 12-month community order with 140 hours unpaid work and told to pay £800 costs.
According to the Express and Star, the court heard that when Mr Simpson put his bag on the conveyor belt at the x-ray machine, security staff saw him put his hands to his face and hesitate.
After passing through the metal detector, he then volunteered the information that he had a gun in his bag.
Mr Simpson, from Eccleshall, near Stafford, denied possessing a firearm but pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerous article "having the appearance of firearm" at an airport.
The deadly blade could be loaded with .22 bullets and fired, and was just one of many illegal weapons seized by UK Border Force officers over the festive season.
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