After doing research for a new book, author Brad Meltzer revealed a secret about former President Ronald Reagan that may be surprising to some: The 40th Commander in Chief used to carry a gun in his briefcase while traveling.
Meltzer detailed his experience learning about the widely unknown fact in a piece for the New York Daily News. He begins by writing about a discussion with U.S. Secret Service agents who worked for Reagan during his time in the White House from 1981 to 1989.
“We were talking about Reagan and that day he was shot,” Meltzer wrote. "Then one of the agents offered this secret: When Reagan was President, he carried his own gun.”
“’It’s true’, they said. A .38. Reagan used to hide it in his briefcase and take it on Air Force One,” Meltzer wrote.
Meltzer later contacted former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to discuss the normality of Reagan’s situation. All the former leaders stated that they had never carried a firearm with them while serving as Commander in Chief.
“If Reagan could carry a gun, what have other Presidents carried with them?" Meltzer wrote. "To find the answer, I contacted former President George H.W. Bush.”
The elder Bush served as Reagan’s vice president and was surprised to learn the fact himself.
“He had no idea Reagan carried a gun,” Meltzer wrote.
Meltzer was completing research for his new book, "The President’s Shadow."