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Old June 11, 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
Glenn E. Meyer
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Another NYC airport fiasco

http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/gu...&utm_medium=en

http://www.argusleader.com/article/2...nclick_check=1

1. The college president doesn't think to check the gun laws in NYC. Simple test of intelligence.

2. Delta turns him in. Nice touch. It's their internal policy when you declare a gun in NYC to call the law. Case dropped.

3. He sues:

Quote:
The lawsuit charges Delta with negligence, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing and asks for compensatory and punitive damages of an unspecified amount.
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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Some maroons are highly educated.

What would this panjandrum of academia have done to a student caught with a gun on his campus?
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:04 PM   #3
maestro pistolero
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One thing I am curious about is what is Delta's legal obligation to turn in their passengers to police? Why can't they just follow TSA and Delta policy to check declared firearms like they do in almost all other states?

They have no more assurance that the passengers are not prohibited in the rest of the country. What gives?
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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So, he brought an unregistered handgun into New York City, and all he got was a night in jail, after which charges were dropped.

And he's not buying a lottery ticket?

The lawsuit isn't going to go well for him. Why?
  • He's suing a major airline, with all the legal firepower they've got to defend themselves
  • He's doing it in a locale that isn't friendly to gun rights
  • His damages will be hard to sell to a jury
  • The airline's involvement in those damages was indirect, and
  • "they were just following the law" will be a viable defense to a NYC jury
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:25 PM   #5
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Charges dropped ? in NYC ? wow! was he lucky !
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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I am not so sure he doesn't have a point. The airline is in a unique position to know the local laws and their immediate consequences. On their site they advise what the procedure is to comply:

Quote:
Weapons
We do allow small arms ammunition, in quantities not exceeding 11 lbs. (5 kg) per person, as checked-baggage only. The weapon must be securely boxed and intended for that person's own use. More than one passenger may not combine quantities into one package. See more details under shooting equipment.
Below are additional guidelines related to traveling with weapons:
Firearms are permitted as checked-baggage with special requirements.
Gunpowder (e.g., Pyrodex, black powder, mace, pepper spray, and tear gas) is never permitted.
Once Delta has assumed the role of advising their customers as to how to comply with something as critical as checking firearms onto a commercial airline, I believe they have an obligation to provide complete information. Especially, and at LEAST, they should alert their customers to specific laws, such as NY, and NJ, that are anomalous to the rest of the country, and that potentially place their customers in significant legal jeopardy, including possible felony charges.
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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Their site says:

Quote:
If you need to travel with a weapon as checked baggage, you are responsible for knowledge of and compliance with all Federal, State, or Local laws regarding the possession and transportation of firearms. For more information about this regulation you can visit the TSA site.
http://www.delta.com/traveling_check...x.jsp#shooting

That should cover them.
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Once Delta has assumed the role of advising their customers as to how to comply with something as critical as checking firearms onto a commercial airline, I believe they have an obligation to provide complete information.
Perhaps a moral one, but not a legal one.
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Old June 11, 2012, 01:57 PM   #9
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I expect you are right. But this has been going on for years. After turning over numerous customers to police for what is normal, responsible behavior in 95 percent of the country, you'd think Delta would try to cover their customer's behinds a little better.

I'm still wondering where Delta's obligation to notify police comes from.
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Old June 11, 2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Does anyone have a responsibility to report law breaking? If an employee came across other illegal items, should they tell the law?

We feel sympathetic to gun users. What if a bag of some drug fell out of a checked bag that accidentally opened in the baggage process? A kiddie **** magazine?

EEK - sorry about the language filter. Bad mod.
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Old June 11, 2012, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
What if a bag of some drug fell out of a checked bag that accidentally opened in the baggage process?
Who cares? How would they even KNOW what it was?

Child pornography is another matter. It is self-evidently criminal. Not so with guns or substances.
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Old June 11, 2012, 06:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
I'm still wondering where Delta's obligation to notify police comes from.
From a typical corporate attitude of CYA. In their minds, there are one of two outcomes to a situation like this:
  1. Report the gun. If it's not illegal, the passenger grumbles a bit, but they do that all the time. Stupid paying customers.
  2. Don't report it, and when something happens, get into trouble.
Frankly, a guy working the baggage counter at LaGuardia isn't likely to be much of a 2A supporter to say the least. His decision process involves figuring out which approach will lead to less grief from management.
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Old June 11, 2012, 08:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
1. The college president doesn't think to check the gun laws in NYC. Simple test of intelligence.
Not everyone cares as much as we do about guns, and not everyone is aware enough of pitfalls to research gun laws proactively.

Those on firearms and knife forums would probably also research knife laws before going to NYC, but 99% of the population would not.

I don't think it necessarily does.

That disclaimer is saying they take no responsibility for interactions with law enforcement that lead to arrest because the gun you brought with you on a trip is illegal at the destination or location of check-in (*). They are reiterating the common legal advice/doctrine that it's up to you to know the law.

It doesn't say anything about Delta tattling to law enforcement. They are in a unique position to know that you brought a gun on a trip, and telling law enforcement about it with no advance warning seems to me like it could be tortious. Delta allegedly has a policy to turn in people checking in with guns in NYC, but their disclaimer does not say that, and furthermore they could have anticipated that when he arrived at check-in (for a round-trip flight, presumably) in SD and declared his firearm(s).

(*) As in Revell vs Port Authority of NY/NJ, NYC loves to assert that possession of guns at airports is illegal even though it seems to be covered by FOPA in some situations. Is this different because Delta is identified as having called the police? How does Delta know he wasn't arriving at La Guardia from out of state? It almost seems like conspiracy to violate FOPA. With recent supreme court decisions, and the reality that you can't possess a gun at your destination without taking it with you when travelling, there might be more legal pressure on Delta than there has been on the NYC police and TSA in the past.

I think this is Mr. Benedetto's lawyer? http://www.cadlaw.com/steven-sanford.html
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Last edited by tyme; June 11, 2012 at 09:19 PM.
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Old June 11, 2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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Illegal possession of a handgun can be prosecuted as a felony in NYC. An airline employee or the airline itself may be aiding or abetting one engaging in a felony by transporting an illegal gun and could potentially be charged as such. As sympathetic as I am to the gun owners, I'm even more sympathetic to some schmoe who sees a crime and reports it.
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Old June 12, 2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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Delta is still one of the larger airline companies out there and their prices can be EXTREMELY competitive. If you fly often that "simple" decision can end up costing you a lot of money that might have been saved.

I'm not defending Delta but I'm just saying that simply boycotting them isn't so simple as it sounds.
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Last edited by Tom Servo; June 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Removed response to deleted post
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Old June 12, 2012, 08:26 AM   #16
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As pointed out, when Delta sold him a round trip ticket, and then checked his firearm, they knew that checking the gun on the return flight would trigger a police investigation which could result in felony charges. Upon check in, Benedetto could have been made aware of the somewhat unimaginable fact that a lawful US citizen may not even possess his lawfully owned, locked and unloaded firearm in one of the united states.

At that point, Benedetto could have instead flown in and out of Philly, perhaps leaving his gun in PA, or shipping his firearm home to himself without consequence.

At the root of this issue, is that NY and NJ have a handgun ban for all non-residents. THAT is the court case I am waiting for. I expect it won't go well for them.
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Old June 12, 2012, 08:42 AM   #17
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I have a hard time finding sympathy for him since it seems he didn't bother to look up the gun laws of the state he was bringing his firearm to. I don't like NY or NJ laws, but you'd think he would "do his homework"
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Old June 12, 2012, 08:48 AM   #18
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While I agree that Delta should do a better job of alerting their passengers, they probably have a lot of other stuff to worry about. It doesn't seem entirely unreasonable to expect people flying in and out of NYC to know they shouldn't bring guns. Now when people get stuck in NYC it's a different matter.

Quote:
Child pornography is another matter. It is self-evidently criminal. Not so with guns or substances.
Most of the time I'd agree with this 100%, but in NYC a gun in the posession of someone from SD is self-evidently illegal.
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Old June 12, 2012, 09:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro_pistolero
After turning over numerous customers to police for what is normal, responsible behavior in 95 percent of the country, you'd think Delta would try to cover their customer's behinds a little better.
After decades of such tomfoolery on behalf of NYC, you'd think people would think twice before bringing their gun to New York City.

The only people who do that for whom I have any sympathy are the people whose flight is delayed or cancelled or routed through New York overnight so that they get stuck in NYC despite never intending to do so.
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Old June 12, 2012, 09:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
After decades of such tomfoolery on behalf of NYC, you'd think people would think twice before bringing their gun to New York City.
Bingo!!

Me thinks some of these folks consider themselves above the law. For at least 15 years the NRA has been warning folks not to bring guns in luggage to JFK, La Guardia and Newark airports.

If your flight gets re-routed into one of these airports do not claim your luggage if it contains a gun. This happened to a friend of mine recently. He informed the airline he would not be claiming his luggage at JFK. His luggage was waiting for him at his destination.
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Old June 12, 2012, 03:40 PM   #21
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Boycotts sound good on the Internet. But for this? Probably not.

I recall recently that the parents of adopted kids group called for a boycott of the Avengers movie. Why - because, in it some of the Avengers criticized Thor because his brother Loki was being bad. Thor quipped that he was adopted.

The group was upset. The Avengers take, roughly 1.4 * 10**9 dollars.

Maybe they lost $35 on the boycott.

Delta will see no losses from this that are discernible.
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Old June 12, 2012, 03:55 PM   #22
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Kill-joy! And here I was, getting all set for a first-rate Internet tantrum!

(I agree with you fully, Mr. Meyer.)
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Old June 12, 2012, 11:09 PM   #23
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Actually what will happen is Delta will settle out-of-court, first try with be free tickets, then, if you refuse that, finally with cash. Everything will quietly go away, and Delta's policy will not change.

Been there, done that (not NYC wit a gun, but another annoying policy that can be very expensive if you are caught by it.)
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Old June 13, 2012, 07:54 AM   #24
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never with a handgun, but when I lived in New Jersey I traveled into NYC to go to the airport and I brought firearms with me multiple times. I always declared them at the ticket counter, and never had any issues being asked how I got them into the city or anything.
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Old June 13, 2012, 08:37 AM   #25
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"Never with a handgun" means that your situation is not germane to the NY Discussion. Long arms are OK. Handguns are not.

This is really a case of knowing the law, handguns are *not legal* in NY for non residents or for residents who do not posess a permit. That's pretty cut and dried. Fly into a NY airport with the intent to get off of the plane and into a car to go see someone... and have a checked handgun... you are a felon. What's not simple about that?

The issue really ought to be regarding the airlines accepting for shipment what will immediately become contraband at the destination. That is something that ought to be ended at the airline level.

The "trap" is if you are flying to, say... Boston, and are diverted due to weather to an airport in NY. Land & claim your bag? You are a felon. At that point you really need to REFUSE to claim your bag, and to carefully think about what you are going to do next. What are you going to do when you see your bag going 'round and 'round on the baggage claim conveyor knowing that the moment you take it off *even to carry it to the baggage service desk* that you run the risk of immediate arrest? That's the real trap.



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