Monday, August 08, 2011

TSA disallows guns in CHECKED luggage

Except under onerous conditions

A man flew from Denver to Kansas City on Sunday, but his pistol stayed behind.

Early Sunday morning, a man flying on Frontier Airlines checked his bag at the counter without telling airline agents he had packed a loaded gun. Transportation Security Administration agents doing a routine screen on checked baggage found the gun and called Denver police at about 6:45 a.m.

The officers found the pistol "unusual" and weren't quite sure how to unload it, police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray said.

Officers shot the gun into a concrete-lined device called a clear barrel, equipment they often use to disarm guns with which they're not familiar.

Denver police kept the weapon and said the man can collect his gun from the police if he passes a criminal-background check and produces photo identification, Murray said. Neither the man's name nor the type of pistol were disclosed.

TSA regulations allow passengers to carry guns on planes in checked baggage if they report them to the airline, unload them and place them in locked, hard- cased containers. Guns are not allowed in carry-on luggage.

People who violate those rules could face criminal charges or up to $10,000 in fines, according to the TSA. Denver police presented a criminal case to the Denver district attorney and the U.S. attorney, and both declined to press charges, Murray said.

While the idea of carrying a gun on a plane alarms some people, it's quite common, TSA officials said.

"Most passengers do understand the rules of carrying of firearms," said TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz. "But our officers do, in fact, intercept several guns a day at U.S. airports."


WA: Gun-toting Witness To Shooting Captures Suspect: "A witness to a shooting in Skyway captured a suspect, handcuffed him and made him sit on the ground until deputies arrived on Saturday night. The King County Sheriff's Office said there was an argument between two men over a drug deal. Both were carrying guns. "One guy was apparently quicker on the draw because the other guy got shot," said Sgt. John Urquhart of the Sheriff's Office. The shooting was in the parking lot of a U.S. Bank at South 126th Street and 76th Avenue South. Urquhart said it was witnessed by a man who was there to use the ATM. He, too, had a gun -- and a pair of handcuffs. "When we got here, the shooter was searched, in handcuffs and sitting down on the curb," Urquhart said. The passerby told investigators he did not fire his gun. It's not clear how he was able to take the man into custody."

FL: Man Wrestles Gun from ATM Robber: "A heroic Florida man came to his girlfriend's rescue after a gunman tried to rob her while she retrieved money from a St. Petersburg ATM. Anthony Hall was sitting in the car with his 5-year-old child when he saw the gunman approach 25-year-old Cristina Hopkins on Friday night. He jumped out of the car and struggled with the gunman. St. Petersburg police said the gun went off, wounding Almedin Muratovic. Hall managed to wrestle the gun away from the suspect and threw it out of his reach until officers arrived. Muratovic was charged with two counts of armed robbery, possession of a controlled substance and possessing a firearm. He remains hospitalized. The victims were not injured."

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