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Culture & Politics

Shotshell Causes Flight Delay

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  November 29th, 2012 2

It could happen to any of us. You’ve been hunting or to a trade show and get on the plane, only to notice that you’ve managed to get through all that expensive TSA screening with a round of ammo in your pocket. What to do?

Someone apparently decided that taking his chances with the security bureaucracy was too risky, and just shoved a live shotshell into the seat pocket and tiptoed off the plane at his destination. A later passenger found it in Milwaukee and reported it, setting off a big search by bomb-sniffing dogs that found no other ammo.

This kerfluffle illustrates the dilemma that our current security regime causes the absent-minded passenger. If you do the right thing and self-report the contraband ammo, you may be stuck at the airport for hours while they search for your possible links with al-Qaeda. Who wants that?

If you drop it in the seat pocket, a whole planeload of innocent people may be delayed while the plane is searched. Who wants that?

Seems to me if we can let city residents haul in guns for no-questions-asked turn-in, we could do the same for airline passengers. In the meantime, check your pockets.

  • mogwan

    Something similar happened to me flying from Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles. I stayed up all night working and started packing about 2 hrs before leaving my house for the 1.5 hr drive to the airport. The flight was 7am so arrival around 5:15am is the norm. As we're the seasonal opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, i thought for a second (sleep deprived) and grabbed a pair of 5.11 Tactical Shorts. At Carry on Baggage Screening, the security guys found a forgotten 9mm live round in the bottom of a front mag pocket. I was detained & questioned until the Federal Police (Au's version of the FBI) arrived for their 'go' at me. Fortunately, I had my Pistol Permit with me, and the Lieutenant realised I was a legitimate shooter. They confiscated the live round, made me sign a document giving them possession of it-then had to sign another document admitting to a felony. Legal representation? Forget it when you've got a long haul flight to catch! I was told i'd be contacted for adjudication… that was in July and it's now Dec. But knowing the Aussie rules and hyper-strict enforcement, i'm keeping my fingers crossed. Previously I found some live .22lr rounds in my bag on the way to the airport for a domestic flight out of Sydney. I tossed the rounds in a garbage can when i arrived at the entrance.

  • MKG

    Forgotten rounds? Are you kidding me? As shooters we have to pay extra special attention to all the little details of our pre-occupation / occupation. That includes transportation of firearms and accessories. That is critically important especially when traveling by air. When we are in the field or at the range we are definitely concerned with safe handling. We can not then become complacent when it come to transport. The anit-gunners are looking for any excuse to regulate us to death. Don't give them the ammunition (incidents) to use against us. Mogwan, take care and good luck with the Aussies.

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