In episode 61 of the Armed Lutheran Radio Podcast. I talked about how you can stay safe in your journeys. This week I saw some headlines about travel as well. It’s not about the TSA incident with the little boy. What I’m referring to is a TSA screener who missed finding a .38 caliber handgun in a travelers bag.
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This traveler made it through security with a gun in her bag. The TSA agent was fired. According to the Transportation Security Administration, she was a new employee, who was still on probation. She was dismissed from the position.
An Atlanta police officer said that Katrina Jackson of Hoover, Alabama made it through security and was at her gate, looking at her passport when she discovered her handgun was still in her bag. She immediately contacted security to notify them that she still had her loaded handgun.
Police arrested her for unlawful possession of a firearm because she was in an area where firearms are prohibited. I’m still looking for follow up reports, but I have a lot of questions.
What would you do? Would you turn yourself in? Would you sweat it out quietly and hope that you made it to your destination?
This woman was from Alabama but the report says she was flying from Georgia. That leads me to ask, “Did she fly already, with her handgun one time prior?”
In my research and looking for answers for these questions, I looked at TSA’s website. I found some interesting statistics that make me worry about us and I feel like we need to be doing a better job.
TSA officers screened 708,316,339 million passengers (more than 1.9 million per day), which is 40,780,330 millionmore passengers than for the same timeframe in 2014.
In addition to screening more than 708 million passengers, TSA officers also screened 1.6 billioncarry-on bags, 432million checked bags and 12.9million airport employees!
That’s a lot of huge numbers, which I find a bit difficult to wrap my mind around. It makes it easier to understand how a mistake can be made, but we would hope there wouldn’t be mistakes, right?
It leads me to another question. In another headline, I read that Delta Airlines was not going to allow checked guns. I couldn’t find any facts to support that statement. I did find accounts of changes which would make travel more strict for gun owners. One said that gun cases will be zip tied so they cannot be opened in the airport. I find this solution a bit strange because anyone can come in the baggage area. You don’t even need an I.D. to come into a baggage area from outside. Bags can be stolen.
Another new rule would be that gun owners will have to go to a clerk to retrieve their firearms. I think that’s a good idea.
What do you think? What are some good ideas that would make airports more secure, besides taking our guns away?
Also significant (via TSA 2015 Year in Review), 2,653 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than seven firearms per day. Of those, 2,198 (83 percent)were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 236 airports; 12 more airports than last year. There was a 20 percent increase in firearm discoveries from 2014’s total of2,212. Pictured are just some of the firearms discovered in 2015.
If you are a person who regularly practices concealed carry, you ‘ve made your gun part of your morning routine. Tell me, what things do you do to remind yourself not to wear your gun on a day you plan to fly?
Top 10 airports for gun catches in 2015 (via TSA 2015 Year in Review)
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 153
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 144
George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Houston (IAH): 100
Denver International Airport (DEN): 90
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 73
Nashville International Airport (BNA): 59
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): 59
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL): 57
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS): 54
William P. Hobby Airport (HOU): 52
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