There was a pretty cool op-ed in the Florida Sun-Sentinel published Friday by the paper’s editorial board. Here’s an excerpt:
The law isn’t confusing.
There’s no complex wording, nuance or tricky phrases that need interpretation.
Quite simply, in Florida, you cannot bring a gun into an airport. If you want to travel with your gun, it must be unloaded and in your checked baggage.
“Travelers may only transport UNLOADED firearms in a locked, hard-sided container as checked baggage,” the advisory from the Transportation Security Administration reads.
That’s as simple and direct as you can get.
So what part of “no guns allowed” do people still not understand?
For the second year in a row, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ranked among the top 10 airports in the nation for the number of guns intercepted at checkpoints, the TSA reported earlier this month.
Security officers caught 49 guns at the Fort Lauderdale airport in 2014, an increase over the 45 nabbed in 2013. Nine guns were spotted at Palm Beach International in 2014, down from 11 in 2013. At Miami International, 33 guns were caught, up from 24 in 2013.
For comparison, consider that the three airports serving New York City — LaGuardia, JFK and Newark — confiscated a total of 12 guns in 2014. Again, that’s all three airports combined.
Not only are too many people in South Florida putting guns in their carry-on bags, they’re often putting loaded guns in their bags.
Again, is the law really that hard to understand? Is common sense really that rare a trait these days?
The question I have for you is: should law-abiding citizens be allowed to carry firearms onto airplanes? Or, put another way, are laws that ban one from carrying on board a 747 common sense or anti-gun?
My take? Well, I don’t believe there are a lot of common sense gun laws on the books but this one, a ban on carrying on board airplanes, seems to make sense given our current reality (That said, I do support the air marshall program as well as the the Federal Flight Deck Officer or armed pilot program, as I do think having armed security while traveling 30,000 miles off the ground is warranted, particularly in a post 911 world).
My reason for supporting the ban has nothing to do with not trusting fellow gun owners to be responsible with their firearm while flying — after all, millions of concealed carry permit holders carry everyday in the public square without incident — but has everything to do with the complications it would cause TSA and the subsequent delays it would cause at airports. As it stands right now, wending through a TSA checkpoint at an airport is an arduous and lengthy process. I’ve been poked and prodded and pricked for wearing a belt buckle that was too big, I can only imagine how much more invasive these searches and pat downs would be if airlines allowed one to carry firearms. TSA agents would be detaining gun owners left and right to double check and triple check that they had CCW permits;I think it would turn into one big mess.
There’s also the issue of airlines, right? Even if the law allowed one to carry when flying, for liability concerns, it stands to reason that airlines wouldn’t permit it anyhow. Given that they’re corporations, it’s ultimately up to their board of directors and CEOs whether to allow one to carry. Then again, suppose the airlines permitted concealed carry. To cover insurance costs, how much would they have to raise ticket prices? My guess, ticket prices would be exorbitant.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I hate the notion civil disarmament under any circumstances. But in the case of flying which is an isolated exception, it might just be the practical position to take given an inept TSA and airlines with an anti-gun corporate philosophy.
What are your thoughts? I’m I being too conciliatory to the way things are? Should I be more idealistic when it comes to the 2A? Should we demand that the TSA and the airlines change their ways as opposed to us simply accepting the status quo? I’m open to suggestions on this discussion topic.