Skip to comments.Woman forgets handgun in purse, boards plane en route to Newark airport
Posted on 09/29/2012 8:12:08 PM PDT by BobL
ORLANDO, Fla. Authorities say a Florida firefighter who brought a handgun onto a flight out of Orlando will not be prosecuted.
The unidentified woman told authorities she forgot she had a 380-caliber semi-automatic in her purse when she boarded a flight Thursday. The woman went through screening checkpoints at Orlando International Airport, but the gun was not detected.
The woman told authorities about the incident when she landed at Newark Liberty Airport.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
And, just to make it worse, they land in a very gun-unfriendly place, 1000 miles from home. So what to do? Options include:
1) Tell the feds when you land, as she did. Being a fireman may have saved her from a prosecution. They like to make examples out of us rednecks up there.
2) Try to dispose of the gun, and maybe try to wipe off the serial number prior.
3) Try to return home with it in your luggage. Risky if you tell the airline, since you likely need a permit just to bring it to the airport. Risky, of course, if you don't tell them.
4) Rent a car and drive back with it. Just drive very carefully when in gun-hating states.
I'd almost certainly pick #4. I'd rent a car as quickly as possible, bury the gun under the spare tire (assuming there even is one, but that's another thread), and then plan my return to Florida. I'd have to decide whether to bring the car back, or just go one-way. That would depend on a lot of factors. But I'd consider that option as the most likely path to success.
But given all that, be thankful that you even have Option 4. If you're overseas, then it really get challenging to figure out a plan.
The stupid TSA. Private enterprise has shown to be clearly more efficient and effective than the self-conflicted, bloated, and utterly unaccountable federal government's TSA. Same with healthcare and everything else the government unconstitutionally meddles with except defense (which also needs constant monitoring).
I’m 66 years old with over 30 years in law enforcement and can’t get a job with the TSA because I’m too old. I guarantee a gun would not get past me unless it was made of plastic. Yet our government hires folks that have no clue how to protect us.
Hire retired police officers and the whole TSA thing might make some sense. Hire welfare queens and you get what you pay for.
Or go to the Fed X store and box it up and ship it home.
If law-abiding citizens were everywhere permitted open *and* concealed carry, in public and private places, there would not be SandMonkey terrorists or other assorted nutjobs shooting up or blowing up this country.
5. Unload it. Put it in a sealed box with some bubble wrap. Ship it to your home address via FedEx.
Works every time.
Or you could mail it back to yourself.
You can also send it back to yourself via UPS.
So, you think the government should continue unconstitutionally meddling with defense?
They X-ray mail in many places. Risky.
Same with healthcare and everything else the government unconstitutionally meddles with.
“Or go to the Fed X store and box it up and ship it home.”
A variation of that might be the best option. Instead of rolling the dice in NJ, where even showing up with the gun at FedEx is illegal, maybe drive to the nearest gun-friendly state (maybe PA, but not sure) and mail it from there.
“I haven’t flown in a long time, but why did she disclose it when she got to Newark? Wouldn’t she need it there more than most places?”
Most people that go to Newark make it out alive, unless they’re absolute idiots and try to “paint the town” - that’s what New York City is for.
In her case, she had to be scared to death of being caught, maybe even being intercepted after she got off the airplane (maybe they reviewed the screenings from the sleeping TSA type and found it during her flight...that’s what can go through one’s mind when panicking)...similar to what happens to drug couriers. She may have figured that she better fess-up first. Or maybe she knew that she might get “talked-to” due to her panicked appearance, and I suspect that she’d be subject to search, just being at the airport (not sure though).
It’s also possible that she couldn’t come up with a plan for getting the piece back to FL...so she figured the sooner owned-up the better - pretty pathetic if true. It would be interested to see her interviewed, but I doubt that will happen.
Doesn’t it make you feel safe knowing that the TSA could’t even spot a handgun is a purse?
Why is it again that we even HAVE the RSA, other than to harass women, children, and the elderly?
The handbag was xrayed at the airport and they never saw it.
I doubt very much that FedEx or UPS do that. It would create a liability for them if they fail to detect some dangerous content. It would also destroy privacy of shippers - and that is something that courier services cannot afford. X-ray may also damage shipped materials, such as exposed but undeveloped film, medical samples, some fine electronics. There is simply no upside for FedEx to bother with X-ray; it's a lot of expense and no profit.
FedEx will not legally ship a firearm from you to your house. One of the ends must be a licensed dealer. Interestingly enough, the law does not seem to allow this particular situation where a lawful owner ships his legally acquired firearm from one place where he can have it to another place where he can have it.
You must disclose that the package contains a firearm; then the package will be labeled on the outside (so that it can be conveniently stolen by low wage workers, I guess.) It would be a violation of the contract between you and FedEx (and of the state/federal laws) to put a firearm into a metal box, wrapped well so that it doesn't rattle, and ship that. Though the risk of discovery is very low, if the matter becomes known the punishment might be very unpleasant.
If I were to be caught in this situation, I would have called a dealer in my area (a few are well known to me since I, naturally, visit their places of business now and then) and asked them to receive and hold the firearm for me. They'd charge a nominal fee for bother, about $25 (the same they charge when you buy a firearm from someone else and have it shipped.) That would be 100% legal. Driving is also perfectly legal as long as the firearm is unloaded and in a locked container in the trunk. That's what hunters do all the time. If some cities ban firearms in every way possible, steer around them (they are likely to be bad places to visit anyway.)
“X-ray” is used in my comment as shorthand for the various scanning technologies in use. Gamma scanning, laser-based molecular scanning (more for explosives but can identify gunpowder), millimeter wave and others. All of these can and have been installed in carrier properties on a temporary or permanent basis in response to perceived threats. The shippers have no choice but to be extremely accommodating to DHS when the request comes in.
There are hundreds of thousands of individuals who continue to be misinformed as to the reality of gun purchase in America, thanks to the mainstream media. When you “purchase” a firearm on the internet it is shipped from the seller direct to a federally licensed firearm retailer in your area. It is NOT shipped direct to you. When you arrive to claim the weapon you are then subjected to the three-day waiting period and the mandatory forms to be filled out and the mandatory background check. Firearms are NOT shipped direct to internet purchasers unless the purchaser itself is licensed by the federal government to receive such purchases. Many people ignorant of this actual purchase process continue to blame “easy internet access” as the cause of the recent movie theater massacre.
Uh, I don't think you can "wipe off" a serial number.
You would have to use a drill to obliterate a s/n but LE is quite capable of raising it back up to read.
I have a slightly different opinion of this predicament...
Grow an f’ing brain! If you’re carrying a gun and you don’t know it, you’re entirely focused on the wrong things in your life.
I’ve carried almost every day, since I was around 20 years old, either on my person, or in a car, lunchbox, etc. Never, not once, did I not know I was in posession of a firearm. That’s careless, irresponsible, and could get you killed.
Being a public worker helped her but more than that being a woman helped her.
The outcome would have been different if it were a male business owner.
The perverts are going to have to grab more boobs and crotches to make sure this never happens again. Then we will be safe.
I had shotgun shells tucked in a pocket of my carry-on that I didn’t know about. I went round-trip to El Paso and back before finding them when I was back home, unpacking. LOL
What, you didn’t report it to TSA. LOL!!
“Uh, I don’t think you can “wipe off” a serial number.”
That’s street talk for grinding it off. The risk is that you have to hope there is no other way of tracing it to you, as you’re talking serious trouble if they do.
“Grow an fing brain! If youre carrying a gun and you dont know it, youre entirely focused on the wrong things in your life.”
A long time ago, I was driving one my kids. He was in a car seat and sleeping in the back. I was listening to something - maybe Rush - and was caught up in it. I looked back to change lanes and a chill went through me because I simply forgot he was there.
When I hear about kids getting fried in Houston, I always wonder if that would have been the case if they were in the front seat. I certainly would not have forgotten about him had he been in the front seat.
It’s easy for one to say they’re perfect and never forget any detail in their life - it’s harder to live that life. Since that day with the kid, I never put in the back seat again (and I disabled the air bags, of course). He lived and grew up, and I never got a ticket - not that I would have cared.
Likewise I could see her having a piece that she may not carry often buried in the bottom of my purse because she went to the play downtown last weekend and figured she needed some defense capability - then forgot about it. Easy to remember if you carry every day - but maybe she doesn’t. Every situation is different.
My daughter went through security in Houston for a trip to LA and TSA missed the tazer in her purse.
Goodness, it sure is difficult to move this legal item from place to place. It’s almost like some sort of drug contraband. I guess that’s what happens when you are ruled by the one political party of Ivy League Incumbency and their billions of laws.
Vote “Republican” and see how that changes. /sarc
Yea, for people that carry, they have to think very hard. Will they be going to a place where it’s not allowed, or where they will be inspected...is there a way they may forget that they have it with them - maybe in their car, for example, maybe in their purse, a backpack.
Get caught making one mistake and you’re looking at a felony charge and huge legal bills.
One has to look at themselves, their lifestyle, and their ability to remember details. That’s why I put my kids in the front seat, forever, once that ‘event’ happened (see above).
With some help from others, here’s what I think is the best option for someone in her situation, and doesn’t have immunity being a public servant:
Assuming you figure it out before leaving the airport, rent a car and bury the gun under the spare, or somewhere in the trunk. Then drive (carefully) to a gun-friendly state, and find a licensed firearms dealer there. Have them ship it back home, to a dealer close by. Then simply pick it up when you get home. Getting to a friendly state to get rid of the piece almost assures that you won’t get asked ‘unpleasant’ questions by a scared-to-death dealer (in an unfriendly state), and it also means that you will be driving almost exclusively on highways and will not have to carry the piece, even from the car to a dealer, in an unfriendly area.
What is scary about unfriendly areas is that it is very difficult to know all their laws - they’re designed to trip people up.
I’m about the write racially sensitive stuff, if you’re offended, don’t read on!
Twelve years ago, I had a knee replacement. A while later, I bought a ticket and went through San Jose, CA metal checkpoint. I thought I had nothing to worry about because the knee replaement manufacturer gave me a card to show to the scanners.
HOWEVER, the card was written in English and the scanners didn’t read or speak much English. I set off the alarms, tried to show my card to someone, including a supervisor who also didn’t speak English.
Fortunately those in line were patient. And one called over a San Jose Police Officer who read my card and waved me on through.
Moral of the Story: Well, there’s isn’t one. Everything is FUBAR!