U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- During the week of November 4-15, The Transportation Security Administration found two magazines in a stuffed toy which was being handled as a carry-on, at Orlando International Airport.
The magazines did not have any ammunition associated with them. They fell under the ban on “gun parts” in carry-on luggage.
TSA reports local police were called and confiscated the magazines. It is not clear that is what happened.
The theory behind “no gun parts” is probably the potential for guns to be disassembled, carried piecemeal by confederates, then reassembled once beyond the security checkpoint.
The motivation for the magazines in the stuffed toy may have been simple economics. It is not clear what model of magazines are in the picture. They probably have a retail price of $20-$30 each. Many airlines charge extra for checked luggage. It is common to see charges of $25 for each leg of the trip, sometimes for each airline, both going to a destination and returning. $50-$100 extra for a piece of checked luggage are charged regularly.
People routinely attempt to avoid the charges by taking the largest carryon bags they can get away with.
The owner of the magazines may have thought it cheaper take them on board, and risk confiscation, than pay the extra charges for a checked bag.
In the same week, TSA found 205 firearms in checked bags. Of those, 176 had loaded magazines and/or loaded chambers. 72 had a round in the chamber.
During the same period, 31.7 million passengers were screened. The TSA found one firearm in checked baggage for every 154 thousand passengers.
When you consider that over 7% of adults in the United States have carry permits, you realize how amazingly law abiding, or simply prudent, airline passengers in the United States are.
Nearly all of the guns discovered in carryon baggage are simple errors made by passengers who are in a hurry, did not check the bag carefully before going on the trip, or where someone else made an error. Do something often enough; have enough people do it, and errors will be made.
I once carried a full box of .22 rimfire ammunition through security and on to the next destination, before discovering that it had been in a computer bag. Humans make errors. The only people who do not make errors are those who never do anything.
One of the rare exceptions was a woman who TSA found had a firearm concealed “in her chest area”. It was shown as a Berreta model 21. There was no round chambered, and the cartridges were reported to have been loaded into the magazine backwards.
As bearing arms is a right protected by the Constitution of the United States, and as the federal government forbids the carry of arms on commercial aircraft, except in checked baggage; the government has a responsibility not to chill the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
The charge of additional fees for checked bags directly chills the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
Perhaps the regulations should be changed, to forbid the charge of extra fees if the checked bag contains arms protected by the Second Amendment.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.