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Security theater

A TSA screener in Atlanta missed a loaded handgun in a woman’s bag. And there’s this:

She self-reported to police and officers showed up at the gate to confiscate her gun and bag.

Jackson told them she had a permit from Alabama, but did not have it with her.

Police arrested her and charged her with unlawful possession of a handgun.

This seems to happen enough that if I ever find myself in the secure area and had a gun, I doubt seriously that I’d tell anyone.

11 Responses to “Security theater”

  1. Steve Says:

    You can’t win either way, so just keep your mouth shut. Hopefully it was in a holster so jostling the bag wouldn’t cause it to fire.

    Still, I don’t understand how this happens, unless it was a purse or something. My guns have never gone anywhere near any of my luggage, carry-on or otherwise. Just seems to be irresponsible behavior.

  2. Fūz Says:

    Hell, if I’m in the secure area and find somebody else’s gun, I’d remain silent. Might pocket the gun . . .

  3. Publius Says:

    You know that right to remain silent? I’m pretty sure she incriminated herself right then and there.

    The problem here is that, much like similar policies in schools, this only serves to undermine trust in the authorities from well-meaning people who seek to do the “right” thing.

  4. Bruce Says:

    Smart move would have been to exit the screening area and proceed directly to baggage retrieval and out of the airport. Miss a flight, avoid an arrest.

  5. mikee Says:

    Does anyone remember FOPA? I thought we were beyond the airport arrests by now.

  6. Borepatch Says:

    This has been happening at the Atlanta airport for a long time. Bride arrested on honeymoon:

  7. Ron W Says:

    If you know you’re not going to be searched and your gun is secured and concealed, it seems best to “don’t ask, don’t tell” because when it comes to guns with most authorities, common sense and respect for rights are gone.

    But like Steve says, I don’t know how this happens. So far, literally only in my bad dreams, do I end up in some location or situation where guns are banned and mine is with me where it can likely be discovered.

  8. Richard Popkin Says:

    Too many unanswered questions… How did she get to Atlanta with it? Did she hitch hike there and was flying back to Alabama? I don’ t understand how you travel and not know you have a sidearm.

    If I discovered I had my pistol on me and had passed through security and was getting on a flight home, I’d keep my mouth shut, keep a “hawk eye” on my purse/briefcase and not open it until I walked into my home. No one else is going to check you and you don’t intend to commit a crime. Just stay cool and be glad that you aren’t run through the ringer for committing a crime by accident!

  9. Siergen Says:

    I was a couple steps from entering the local Post Office when I saw the metal detectors and suddenly remembered that I was carrying. I pretended to answer my cell phone, then went back to my car and bought stamps at the grocer instead.

  10. Will Says:


    How do people get into the P.O. with packages to mail, with metal detectors in operation? AFAIK, you can still mail long guns legally, for that matter. Was this office in a mall, or some other off-site location?

  11. Andrew Says:

    The last “TSA Test” on themselves, they missed 90% of the time.

    Hard part would be, if one does “miss it and end up leaving said airport with the gun”.
    Be difficult to “transport it back with them” without some trouble.

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