TSA confiscates firearms at OKC airport


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Jeff OTMG
March 31, 2005, 02:43 AM
I didn't know whether this deserved a new thread or should just be added onto the sticky thread, but I figured this would get more to read it.

I flew out of OKC on Monday AM (3/28) and declared firearms as usual. This part of the airport still has the 'wipe down' method of screening checked baggage, unlike the other end of the terminal, that has been remodeled, which has the CAT Scan equipment in the bowels of the airport. After declaring to the carrier I also inform TSA. This agent has seen me many times and says that they recently have had some people not declare their firearms because they saw the wipe down being done and knew that the firearm wouldn't be detected or didn't know they were suppose to declare them. What they don't know is that there is a CAT Scan machine downstairs that the curbside checkin goes through and an x-ray (possibly CAT Scan) that the wiped bags go through and TSA has been confiscating undeclared firearms from checked baggage. He told me that some of the stuff that they got were rare collectible guns and that it was a shame that these guys either didn't know the law or chose to ignore it. The sad thing is that the owners don't know that the firearms have been confiscated until they pick up their baggage at the destination and they are not there. When they go to the airline to complain there is no record of the declaration, so nothing can be done to get them back. Good luck battling the federal government on constitution grounds.

Heads up! If you fly with guns, declare them.

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mbs357
March 31, 2005, 03:34 AM
OUCH.
It would really suck to be in such a situation. =(

crashresidue
March 31, 2005, 04:18 AM
Cheers,

I can see both sides of this - but as a frequent flyer and a gun-toter - I ALWAYS declare the weapons!

I don't want to be jerked off a flight by the feds because I didn't tell them something that they're gonna' find out anyway!

If you've got a gun - TELL them! Yea, it's a hassel when you get tagged for another search before you board - but is it worth loosing you weapon(s)?

I know it's a pain in the b*t to put up with the TSA, and the counter people that don't know what they're doing - but what's you're alternative?

If your "counter person" doesn't know what the laws are - ask for/ demand their supervisor - and if that doesn't work - ask for the TSA supe!!!

I've NEVER understood why I'm considered an "at risk" person because I declared a weapon - but I am! So, I'll live with it - until I get a chance to change it!

What I don't understand is the "cigarette lighter" thing! But, I'll get into this somewhere else! I'll also address the "crotch search" I endured, by a female TSA employee coming out of LAX - got to talk to the TSA supe that time!

Fly safe, live by the rules you can't change, and change the ones that you can!

Gentle winds,
cr

Jeeper
March 31, 2005, 09:35 AM
If you are stupid enough to fly and not declare a gun then you deserve to have it yanked.

TheEgg
March 31, 2005, 11:25 AM
Jeff, this story bothers me.

First, I am all in favor of declaring. But, if someone does not, the actions that your friend is describing seems to me to be simple theft, not enforcing the law.

If the law was being enforced, would not the person who failed to declare be in trouble far beyond just arriving at the destination and then finding their property missing?

If this is really going on, it looks to me like the TSA or whoever is actually stealing under the color of law.

rare collectible guns and that it was a shame that these guys either didn't know the law or chose to ignore it. The sad thing is that the owners don't know that the firearms have been confiscated until they pick up their baggage at the destination and they are not there. When they go to the airline to complain there is no record of the declaration, so nothing can be done to get them back. Good luck battling the federal government on constitution grounds.

I would think that if the agents were doing their job, at the very least the people involved would be cited and refered to the US attorney or local law enforcement agency, maybe arrested on the spot, not just given a :neener:

Or am I missing something here?

Chipperman
March 31, 2005, 01:44 PM
They should count themselves lucky that the guns were just taken and they were not arrested.

Bear Gulch
March 31, 2005, 02:02 PM
The law requiring declaration predates 9/11. Anyone dumb enough to not declare in the heightened security status we have deserves what they get. I can think of no logical reason why would wouldn't declare.

TexasRifleman
March 31, 2005, 02:34 PM
I hate to say it but there really isn't anything going on here other than people being victims of their own stupidity.

Like has been said, you don't declare a firearm these days, especially since 99% of the time I go up to the baggage TSA guys they ASK me if I have a firearm, then you deserve whatever happens to me.

The worry I have it a bit different. You declare your firearm, the declaration form goes into the firearm case, but the airline doesnt actually keep a record of that. I asked an American ticket agent once and she said the only record was the form itself, it does not get entered into your passenger record.
If you get to the other end and someone has stolen the entire gun case, how do you prove you had a gun in there?

TheEgg
March 31, 2005, 02:39 PM
So, let me get this straight -- if someone does something stupid or illegal, then the authorities, without benefit of indictment or trial, get to do stupid and illegal things to them????


Whhaaaaaaaaaatttttttt a country.

MikeIsaj
March 31, 2005, 02:50 PM
So let me see if I understand this. I am supposed to be concerned that people who are stupid, lazy or just want to beat the system are losing their property because they are stupid, lazy or arrogent?

There are real problems in this country and real problems with the government. Pick and choose your fights. Stand up for the weak and oppressed, not the lazy and stupid!

Sistema1927
March 31, 2005, 03:18 PM
Let's say that you do declare your firearms, but they are still yanked by TSA. How can you prove that you declared them? The declaration card goes into the same container in which the gun is transported, and you don't get another copy of it, or any other documentation.

Thus, if a crooked TSA agent (I know that such a creature doesn't exist :uhoh: , this is just a hypothetical) decides that he likes your collectable firearm, how do you prove that you declared it?

Standing Wolf
March 31, 2005, 04:00 PM
I hate to be the odd one out in a thread, but would someone please explain how declaring firearms in one's luggage does anything to reduce the danger of terrorist savagry? Actually, now that I stop to think about it, would someone please explain what danger firearms in luggage are in the proverbial "first place"?

Mark in California
March 31, 2005, 04:16 PM
This is pretty smooth, the Federal Government is putting people into the position of having to say "yes I violated Federal Law and tried to sneak a firearm onto an airplane" and in effect convicting themselves. Pretty much ties the crime to the penalty and does not waste court time to do it.


If you declared, then its I have been robbed and you (TSI) have security breach in the system.

flatrock
March 31, 2005, 04:21 PM
I hate to be the odd one out in a thread, but would someone please explain how declaring firearms in one's luggage does anything to reduce the danger of terrorist savagry? Actually, now that I stop to think about it, would someone please explain what danger firearms in luggage are in the proverbial "first place"?

Other than making it more difficult to travel with firearms, this really can't have much effect on terrorists, and it mainly inconveiences law abiding citizens more than having any real law enforcement use.

I can see one issue that declaring firearms might help with.
Not all firearms have good safety mechanisms for dealing with extreme rough handling, and anyone who's traveled much is aware that their bagage often receives some extreme rough handling.

The gun check procedure does require demonstrating that the firearm is unloaded, which is the only redeaming thing about the policy that I can think of at this point.

DRZinn
March 31, 2005, 04:27 PM
Somebody just tell me this much: what purpose is served by declaring a firearm?

Coronach
March 31, 2005, 04:36 PM
I, personally, never saw the point in declaring firearms in checked luggage. I'm sure there is one, I just don't know what it is (or how valid a point it is). That said, it is explained quite plainly that you must declare firearms in your checked luggage. While out and out confiscation seems extreme, its not like this was done at random, and its also not like this is new, onerous rule by the TSA.

Personal Aside

I'm a police officer, and as such I carry my sidearm with me when I travel (I like nationwide CCW for cops. I think it should be available for everyone). I fly quite a bit. As such, I always end up running my sidearm through my checked luggage. After hearing some horror stories about people dealing with the airlines and the TSA over checked handguns, I was prepared for the worst. I printed off the TSA regs and made sure I followed the procedures to a T, and was ready to argue my point if someone wanted to do something irregular. I also chose my cheapest, easiest-to-replace off-duty gun to carry.

Thus far, no troubles. Every airline rep at every airport knew the drill, and every TSA person was polite, courteous and professional. This certainly doesn't mean that such things can't or don't happen, but it also shows that you're not doomed if you carry guns and fly. And no, they didn't know I was a cop, and yes I've even flown through Chicago (it was so anticlimactic). ;)

Mike

Can'thavenuthingood
April 1, 2005, 12:25 AM
So when the firearm is discovered and taken/stolen/confiscated by the illustrious TSA person, isn't the shipper or flyer tagged as a terrorist suspect?

Don't they or someone investigate further to insure it wasn't another terrorist?

If someone makes a joke or gives off the odor of a bad attitude, he is arrested and fined or jailed.

Seems as though some sort of profiling or identification ought to be happening as far as "Who does this firearm belong to?" If that is not taking place then it's theft.

The only way not to get on the suspect list is to ship a firearm.

Smells funny to me.

Vick

Kevlarman
April 1, 2005, 01:51 AM
Let's say that you do declare your firearms, but they are still yanked by TSA. How can you prove that you declared them? The declaration card goes into the same container in which the gun is transported, and you don't get another copy of it, or any other documentation.

Have your significant other videotape you declaring your firearms. Or, take a digital picture of said declaration before it's stuffed in the case. Failing that, maybe a tape recorder in your pocket and loudly confirm with the agent "yes, I am declaring a two tone Sig P228" :neener:

DRZinn
April 1, 2005, 01:58 AM
Somebody just tell me this much: what purpose is served by declaring a firearm?Hmmm?

centuryhouse
April 1, 2005, 03:45 AM
>>So let me see if I understand this. I am supposed to be concerned that people who are stupid, lazy or just want to beat the system are losing their property because they are stupid, lazy or arrogent?<<

I can't imagine flying and not declaring!! Dumb!!!!

I also cannot imagine condoning officials committing theft of personal property and there being no repercussions. This is NOT Mexico after all, where corruption is the order of the day! Or is it - and you are OK with it?

Coronach
April 1, 2005, 04:15 PM
So, is the property kept by the employees, or by confiscated by the TSA? One is theft, one is not.

TheEgg
April 1, 2005, 04:35 PM
Hm, in this bastion of 2nd amendment rights, I guess few around here care about any of the others, like due process, unreasonable search and seizure, etc.

"He had it coming" is not a particularly pretty jurisprudential philosophy.

Jeff OTMG
April 2, 2005, 02:31 AM
I think that the real problem does not lay in unreasonable search, since you consent to search as part of the rules of flying commercial aircraft. It isn't exactly a secret. I believe that they may be pushing the limits of the 5th Amendment:
No person shall be ...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

DRZinn
April 2, 2005, 09:18 PM
Somebody just tell me this much: what purpose is served by declaring a firearm?Anyone?

Mark in California
April 3, 2005, 12:05 AM
"Control"

It is to maintain some sort of control. Just plain control: "you WILL do this because the government says so."

It also gives the government some idea of how many firearms are moving through the system. How many weapons are in transit and how vulnerable are they?

DRZinn
April 3, 2005, 12:38 AM
Thank you for making my point.

wasrjoe
April 3, 2005, 03:06 AM
Declaring your firearms makes perfect sense to me, in one respect: Making sure the firearms are unloaded. How many dimwits have you heard of/seen taking loaded guns to sell/have repaired at a gunshop?

As far as the guns being confiscated, though, I'm not a fan. I believe a fine should be imposed, fitting the crime. They found a gun you didn't declare. On average, this costs the TSA $XXXX.XX to carefully open your baggage, ensure the gun is not loaded, do the proper paperwork, etc. That's what you're paying. Simple confiscation... don't like it.

Jeff OTMG
April 3, 2005, 04:14 AM
The holes are still in the ceiling at the OKC airport between the Delta and Southwest ticket counters when some bozo wanted to prove his shotgun was unloaded by pulling the trigger and torched one off. Same thing with the lady who did not declare her dead husbands loaded guns and a .357 went off in the baggage hold when the duffle bag was being loaded on the plane. With people out there like that, I am glad that they inspect to make sure they are unloaded.

Bear Gulch
April 3, 2005, 11:42 AM
Sorry but if you are trying to skirt the law by not declaring or using a gun case per the requirements that have been in place for at least the 25 years that I have flown with guns, you deserve to pays at least a major fine before eligible to get the weapon back.

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