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Old July 3, 2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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TSA stops more guns at airports, folks forgot

An article in the paper today caught my eye.

It's reported that a lot more guns are being stopped by the airport screeners at airports around the country. In the first 6 months of this year 894 handguns were found on passengers on in their carry on items. This is a 30% increase over the same period last year.

These are not guns in locked gun cases. They are guns concealed on the person, in a purse or other carry on bag.

In May of this year a record was set for the most guns seized in one week, 65. That broke the previous record of 50 that had been set just 2 weeks before.

In almost all cases the people report that they had forgot that they had the gun with them.

In Sacramento a man was going through screening and took off his jacket, he had a shoulder rig on and a 9mm piece in the holster. He also had 3 more guns, 3 blades and 192 rounds of ammo with him in a carry on.

In Utah a fella tried to board with a .38 strapped to his prosthetic leg.

In Allentown a fella tried to get on with a gun designed to look like a pen. He kept insisting it was a pen.

In Connecticut a man had a 8 round .38 wheelgun strapped to his left ankle.

A fella in Charlotte had a 45 hid in the lining of his carry on.

In most cases the people were allowed to keep their guns but told to lock them in their vehicle or take them home, etc. They could not get on a plane with them.

In most of the cases, when asked, the people say that they "forget" they had the gun on them.

Which raised a question to me...If you are in an airport with the armed cops and the screeners and the X ray machines and the long lines of folks being patted down and you "forget" you have a piece with you, when else might you forget?

If you didn't "forget" are you really smart enough to be carrying? Were you trying to make a point or what?

The article:

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Old July 3, 2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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It might be that folks get so used to carrying, that they really do forget they are.
Like wearing a watch or having cell phone.
Kind of a subconscious thing.
Especially when running late for a flight.

This is encouraging, though:
"In most cases the people were allowed to keep their guns but told to lock them in their vehicle or take them home, etc."
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Old July 3, 2013, 12:42 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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I really can't imagine forgetting that I'm carrying a gun. I've been carrying pretty much daily for about 6 years. I still know it's there, all the time. It's comfortable but it's not forgettable.

Most of the folks that go through checkpoints aren't "carrying" though. The guns are in bags. That's much more understandable.

When I worked for TSA, we had an 80-something year old lady that was bringing a gun to her son (drove to his house) after her husband died and forget it was there when they left for a flight. I suspect that most instances are similar.
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Old July 3, 2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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An article in today’s local paper noted that the Atlanta Airport leads the nation in guns found at the security checkpoint. I suppose the fact that Hartsfield is the busiest airport probably accounts for some of that.

While I do understand that some folks buy a gun stick it in a purse or briefcase and forget about it. However, I find it hard to believe they don’t remember it while in the security checkpoint line. I’m always worried if my eye drops or sunscreen meet TSA requirements and can’t imagine not remembering a gun.
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Old July 3, 2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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I've forgotten I had a gun on before. Clip a P3AT on the inside of your waistband and it's easy to forget.
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Old July 3, 2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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In Kentucky they are investigating right now whether confiscated items have been sold by tsa or airport employees to people on the street for cash.
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Old July 3, 2013, 01:48 PM   #7
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At PHX the PD guys indicated they get a few a week where people likely legitimately forgot they were carrying. Whether they go back to their car or the pokey has mostly to do with their attitude.
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Old July 3, 2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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I rarely forget, but I can honestly say that it has happened to me, exactly once. Fortunately, it wasn't at a place where forgetting could result in jail time.

With that said, I have to call bull on at least one claim of forgetfulness:

Originally Posted by tipoc
. . . .In Sacramento a man was going through screening and took off his jacket, he had a shoulder rig on and a 9mm piece in the holster. He also had 3 more guns, 3 blades and 192 rounds of ammo with him in a carry on. . . .
He "forgot" 4 guns, 3 blades, and 192 rounds of ammo?!? I don't think so.
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Old July 3, 2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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I seriously doubt anyone forgets they're carrying anywhere but especially not at an airport. Someone might not think about a pocket knife.
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Old July 3, 2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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I carry a big gun, hard to forget I have it.

My wife purse carries, that's easy to forget.

I could also see how one would forget a small BUG in a cargo pants pocket.

Not an intelligent thing to do, but I could see it happening.
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Old July 3, 2013, 09:13 PM   #11
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The report and article highlight different attitudes to guns I suppose.

Guns ain't pocket knives to me. I've lost a couple of pocket knives to the TSA over the years. I've developed a routine when I fly. I don't have the same attitude to a Spyderco that I have to a Colt.

Seems some people don't know you can't bring a gun on a plane. Or they think the TSA folks will miss it or just let them through cuz they don't look like trouble.

Did a man really forget that he was carrying a 8 round revolver in an ankle rig when he got into line for the screening?

I can see folks forgetting if their spouse talked them into getting a gun, or they talked themselves into it. There are a lot of situational gun owners. Some incident or situation in their lives convinced them they should have a gun. But they don't really care for guns, rarely shoot, they stick it in a purse or briefcase and then...out of sight out of mind. The gun isn't a part of their life. They don't know where it is day to day. Stick it in a pack back in June, in August they use the same back pack as a carry on for the trip to Granmas' place. They forgot the gun was there.

Seems there is another group who get so used to having a gun with them that they can get in line for a screening and forget they are in a dangerous situation. They have no sense of Condition Orange. It's like unless they see what they consider danger they are unaware they are in danger. These are gun people now, folks who like guns and have some skills. But because they see nothing that says "Danger" to them they'll walk right up to the metal detector and say "oops".


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Old July 3, 2013, 09:52 PM   #12
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My wife purse carries, that's easy to forget.
That's one of several reasons I've always disdained purse carry. The gun gets forgotten. Then it gets neglected. Then it gets gummed up with gunk that collects in the purse. Then it doesn't work when it's needed most.

Sorry, but if I'm inclined to forget I'm carrying a gun, I need to reconsider carrying a gun.
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Old July 4, 2013, 11:52 PM   #13
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NBC News had a story on this "problem" this evening. No hysteria to it, and they pointed out that one reason for the increase was that there were so many new gun owners this year, some of whom aren't fully aware of the airline restrictions. I guess from that perspective, it ain't all bad. It was amazing to see NBC going against the "fewer people owning guns" mantra that the anti's are spouting.
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:05 AM   #14
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I could see it happening. I once made it into the TSA line with a Beretta mag in my laptop case.

I carried the Beretta and mags from my rental car to the hotel room in my laptop case. Apparently one of the mags slipped down in a pocket where I couldn't find it. A couple of days later I packed up to leave NOLA for home in a hurry. I counted one less mag than I thought I brought to NOLA. After tearing apart the hotel room, rental car, tool boxes, suitcase, etc., I finally came to the conclusion that I had only brought 2 mags with me, and headed for the airport in the nick of time.

I was in line at TSA, took out my laptop, and sure enough, the 3rd mag was in the case under the laptop.

It wasn't a gun, but I could see someone doing the same thing with a small BUG.
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:45 AM   #15
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I carried a pistol for many years on my hip. When I switched jobs, I always felt like I was missing something when I was in uniform.

Your body gets so comfortable, or used to, something, it is easy to "forget" it is there. Maybe forget is the wrong word, maybe you just conscientiously do not recognize it is there?

I have an open carry rig that is so comfortable that when I wear it it seems to be part of my body. I sit, stand, work with it strapped to my waist. I have forgotten I have had it on and have run in to town while wearing it.
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Old July 5, 2013, 08:29 AM   #16
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I forgot I had a rather large folding knife in my pocket while going into the courthouse and I also forgot I had a gun in my vehicle while entering a military base. The metal detector turned me around at the courthouse and I remembered I had the gun on base just after passing the gate. I turned around and left both places. Maybe I am just forgetful. I still can't imagine forgetting a pistol while boarding a plane, but if I flew more often I could see it happening.
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