Turns Out a Lot of People are Arrested for Carrying Guns Through Love Field Security

Categories: Transportation

images.jpeg
The all-too-common view from the Love Field security desk.
Love Field and TSA officials have a message for the public: STOP CARRYING GUNS THROUGH SECURITY. SERIOUSLY, GUYS.

Fifteen travelers tried to carry guns through the Love Field security checkpoint this year -- that's compared to one person in the same period of time last year. Holy shit, right? That's a 1500 percent increase.

Of those fifteen, six were arrested this month. And as airport officials reminded Unfair Park: the month isn't over.

We spoke with Amy Williams, the TSA Federal Security Director at Love Field, who is doing her best to raise awareness to the fact that an increasing number of travelers seem to think it's alright to carry guns on planes.

If six arrests for carrying guns through security is a lot in a month, what's typical?
It is a lot. From January of 2011 through the end of April of 2011, we actually discovered only one firearm. And for the same time period for 2012, we've actually discovered 15 firearms with six of those being during the month of April. Of course we've looked at it from many different angles and the common denominator in these arrests are these are people who have a concealed handgun license. So our message that we're wanting to get out is that an airport is a place where weapons are prohibited. Even if you have a concealed handgun license, you're still not allowed to bring your weapon through the security checkpoint.

Do you have a sense of how it measures up -- percentage-wise -- to DFW or anywhere else?
I know that for DFW for this year, they found 16 firearms, we found 15, which is not in proportion to the number of passengers.

And these are all people carrying it right through security? Correct. These were all discovered through the x-ray machines in their carry-on luggage. All of these were found in their carry-on luggage and not on their person.

Who are most of these people? Is there a personality type or a demographic or any category they fit into?
The majority of the people are just your average passenger. They've not had any outstanding warrants or anything against them. They're just individuals who have concealed handgun license and simply forget that they have the gun in their bag.

It seems like common sense...
I think that they just are so used to having it with them at all times that they simply forget, and in every case, when it's discovered, it's always the exact same comment: "I forgot the gun was in the bag."

And then they're arrested anyway?
Exactly, yes. The passenger and their property are taken into custody by the Dallas Police Department. They're charged with a state charge of weapons in a prohibited place. You're going to have to bond out, most likely get an attorney, and then from the federal side, we can levy civil penalties against the individual up to $10,000.

Were any of the arrests surprising, like a little old lady or someone really unexpected?
No, they're all just -- really, they were all middle-aged men.

Why has there been such a significant increase?
I think it's just the increase in the number of people who have concealed handgun license and from our standpoint, our airport does lend itself to a lot of first-time travelers, with Southwest Airlines being one of the major carriers at our airport and they do offer a significant number of low fares, and so I think that we have probably more first-time travelers than some of the other airports experience, like DFW.

I would expect a first-time traveler would be so much more careful.
I have to be honest with you. I can't relate to it because I don't have a concealed handgun license and I don't carry a gun. The only thing I can equate it to is maybe my makeup bag. I always have my make-up bag with me. I don't go anywhere without it. And so that's the only thing I can equate it with is maybe once you become so accustomed to carrying it with you, you just at some point, forget that it's there. I mean I don't know. I don't understand it.

Why do you think it's important for people to know that April was such a high month?
We really think that we need to get out and educate the passengers, especially the ones with concealed handgun licenses and let them know the importance that they can transport that weapon. It just has to be through the checked baggage and following the air carrier's rules.

And that if you bring a firearm to the airport and try to carry it through your carry-on luggage, you will be arrested and will miss your flight. Instead of going on a nice vacation, you're going to be spending time at Lew Sterrett Justice Center. Not the same thing.


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22 comments
Russp
Russp

Unfortunately in any selected group of US citizens, you'll find a good percentage of morons.

Rodr
Rodr

Blah Blah Blah, I miss Wilonsky.

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

It's not illegal to carry a gun in an airport or even put one on a plane, you just have to follow the rules. Hunters do it all the time TSA approved locked case, declare it and procede to bulk oversize check area , gun there for you when you land easy as pie. And in no way illegal

Before y'all say it , I know that's not what the story is about, but to say its illegal is poor journalism

North Fork
North Fork

>Instead of going on a nice vacation, you're going to be spending time at Lew Sterrett Justice Center.

Lew Sterrett would seem like a nice vacation if you got through with your gun and was discovered upon entering New York or Canada or one of those other gun fearing totalitarian regions where Lucas McCain and his trusty Winchester would never venture.

Tim Covington
Tim Covington

I'm another CHL holder who does not understand this. But, I always carry on my person, not in a bag. Bags are to easy to steal. It's the reason I have encouraged my wife to carry on her person instead of in her purse.

cliffson
cliffson

Maybe we need a Concealed Stupidity License.

Genesteve
Genesteve

Simply forgot you had a gun in your carry on bag?  Are you kidding me?  If you are that stupid, you don't need a gun.  A gun is not fingernail clippers or a letter opener that YES, you might have forgot.  I carry, and it is my civic duty to ALWAYS BE AWARE. Not only of my surroundings (AIRPORT) in this case, but I have a GUN.  No law against STUPID and don't think there is a cure.

Dalguy
Dalguy

Clueless gun nuts, not a good situation.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Any CHL holder who makes this 'mistake' should lose their CHL.  I'm all for gun ownership, own several of them myself, but responsibility comes high with gun ownership.  Awareness is the key to responsible gun ownership, one must be aware of the location and status of a firearm at all times.

Ed D.
Ed D.

There was a little boy ahead of me in the airport security line crying his little eyes out so I tossed him a handgun and everything turned out okay.

wilme2
wilme2

OK, I have a concealed handgun license, and I don't really understand it either.

If you are traveling on overnight business or on vacation, you carefully pack.  Maybe these are just day trips so they don't really pack, grab just their normal backpack/briefcase and don't even think about what they are carrying.

But still, CHLers really should have their weapon on their body, NOT in a breifcase/purse where it might be casually stolen.  So in the end, I don't understand either.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I thought all gun owners were responsible. Do responsible gun owners forget where they put their guns?

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Oh my God!  Were any of them little four year old girls from Kansas?

wilme2
wilme2

Actually the TSA representative alluded to that in the article above...

"We really think that we need to get out and educate the passengers, especially the ones with concealed handgun licenses and let them know the importance that they can transport that weapon. It just has to be through the checked baggage and following the air carrier's rules.

billmarvel
billmarvel

Gus,And to call the kind of bloggery practiced here "journalism" is not good journalism, either.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

 Barry is a self-contained joke

Montemalone
Montemalone

 Not enough paper on the planet to print'em all.

Gabe
Gabe

They can and often do lose their CHL. Walking into a bar or city hall armed gets the same result.

wilme2
wilme2

City Hall is perfectly legal, as long as it is not a posted meeting of elected officals (meaning city council meetings or similar)...

Paul
Paul

 What do they have to be afraid of?

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