Saturday, January 24, 2015

2014 TSA Stats for Airport Carry-On Gun Violations are Amazing in both Volume & Content ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ **ARRESTED

How tough is it to be a responsible gun owner?  Apparently very, at least for 2,212 irresponsible gun owners who (intentionally or unintentionally, it matters little) had their firearms discovered at domestic airport TSA checkpoints in the continental US.  Assuming that the TSA has published accurate statistics, the stats don't lie.  Take a look...

According to the TSA, officers at US airports seized 2,212 firearms, most (83%) loaded, from carry-on hand luggage at US airports in 2014.  That is an average of six (6) guns a day, representing a 22% increase from the 2013 stats (1,813 were similarly discovered in 2013 and the stats can be found here), which itself was a 17% increase from 2012, and a mind-boggling 235% increase from the 660 which were uncovered in 2005.  The "Top 10" carry-on firearm airports are:

Dallas/Forth Worth – 120
  1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta – 109
  2. Phoenix Sky Harbor – 78
  3. George Bush (Houston) – 77
  4. Denver – 70
  5. William P Hobby (Houston) – 50
  6. Tampa – 49
  7. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood – 49
  8. Nashville – 48
  9. Orlando – 47 

Most folks claim that they simply forgot that they had a gun in their carry-on luggage but it's hard to imagine given some of the freaky stuff that has been discovered.  For example, take this folding stock rifle with two (2) loaded magazines which was discovered in carry-on luggage at Dallas-Fort Worth...

Or how's about this little ditty:  A live MK-2 hand grenade which was found in carry-on luggage at Los Angeles?  Note to folks: Even a fake / novelty grenade can cause serious problems, including cancelled and delayed flights across the country as explosive experts have to be summoned and determine whether or not the item poses a threat.  In this case the LA grenade was very real.  The entire terminal had to be shut down while an "explosive ordinance disposal team" (i.e. the bomb squad) removed the grenade from the airport, transported it offsite and detonated the little bugger. Amazingly a mere five (5) flights were delayed, but the ordeal took two (2) plus hours and effected almost a thousand passengers.  

Given the fact that folks can lawfully transport firearms on airplanes by properly securing, declaring and checking them, it's amazing how many folks "forget".  On June 4th, 2014 the TSA set a new single day record for firearms being discovered at airport checkpoints by stopping eighteen (18) people at various airports who had "forgotten" to either leave their gun elsewhere while they boarded a flight or to simply declare and check it in their luggage (the previous record was thirteen (13) and came a year earlier in 2013).  

So what's the big deal?  Well, for one thing every time that a gun owner does something stupid with his or her gun (and believe me when I tell you that the possibilities for stupidity are endless) it gives the anti-gun lobby... get ready for the bad pun... "ammunition" and that takes yet another bite out of the 2nd Amendment.  After all, the best argument for regulation is public safety, and getting caught with a gun at a TSA checkpoint (of all places) is a serious public safety risk.  For another, each such instance re-validates the f'ing TSA's existence... Need I say more?  Well I will, but only because some ass clown had to go and check (at least it was not a carry-on and was found in checked luggage ==> yes, they do check your checked luggage) six (6) blocks of inert C-4 explosives in Tampa...

Yes, I'm seriously (either that or the TSA is lying).

So what is the penalty for forgetting to leave your gun elsewhere and "attempting to pass through a TSA checkpoint" with a firearm?  I'm glad you asked (because asking the question is the first step toward responsible behavior).  There are two (2) separate and distinct consequences, and no, there is no "double jeopardy" argument to be made, the first being criminal and the second civil.  In the case of an ordinary handgun (I'm not talking machine pistols or bombs or eccentric items, just an ordinary run of the mill handgun) the criminal component will be a violation of State law.  For example, if you are caught at a security checkpoint in a Florida airport then you will likely be charged with (depending upon the circumstances and the mood of the arresting officer) either felony carrying a concealed weapon under F.S. 790.01 or a misdemeanor violation if you are permitted to carry but violated the "nuisance" exceptions of your CCW permit under F.S. 790.06(12).  The second component is civil and this is where the TSA fines you for your "mistake".  The TSA's civil enforcement policies can be found here but as a general rule they are $1,500.00 - $3,000.00 for unloaded weapons and $3,000.00 - $7,500.00 for ones that are loaded or have "readily accessible ammunition".  So, to avoid arrest, prosecution, paying lawyers, fines, court costs, having your mug shot displayed all over the internet and the embarrassment that is attendant to being popped at TSA with a loaded firearm, just practice good responsible gun safety...

Especially with her.....

When it comes to the subject of Courts and Constitutions you should always have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who is focused on serving your interests.  While we can't stop the cops from arresting you, as your legal counsel Michael A. Haber, PA will ensure that your rights are respected from the moment that representation begins and that any abuses which may have occurred beforehand are remedied.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!


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