Bringing a loaded gun into an airport is the social equivalent of taking your mom to junior prom. It’s a bad choice and it doesn’t end well for anyone. Apparently Chris didn’t get the memo. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the airline mechanic from Oklahoma was busted by TSA x-ray techs when they spotted a loaded handgun in his back pack. After being arrested, the thoroughly cowed grease monkey profferred this gem of an excuse, ”This was my first time in Chicago and I stupidly brought it with me for protection.” Stupid?
Yes, definitely. How hard would it have been to do a little research and learn that A) You can’t carry a loaded gun into the airport B) Chicago does not allow concealed carry of firearms? Unfortunately Chris will have a lot of time to ponder that while he pleads out to felony charges and watches his armed self-defense fall into an endless pit.
When it comes to gun laws, the U.S. should be one size fits all. But it isn’t. Not by a long chalk. You can literally carry a gun through Arizona on the way to anywhere, maybe even stop for a chimichanga along the way. In New York, if you TOUCH a gun that was supposed to be in checked baggage all the way through the Empire State, they will give you a night in prison.
A responsible gun owner must know the gun law where he is, where he’s going and everywhere in between. And he or she must do a lot of careful research before making the journey. Do NOT simply call the local police and ask. Not only are the cops likely to give you a bum steer, their ignorance is no defense in court. There are reliable resources on-line, but it’s best to triple verify the facts on three different sites, one of which should be the actual law in question on an official government website.
Remember: it’s not all about you. If you get nailed for a gun law violation, there’s going to be at least a few minutes of high-stress tension and maybe confusion. You could get shot. Your friends and family could get shot. And innocent bystanders could get shot. The number of irresponsible cops is at least as great as the number of irresponsible civilian gun owners. Don’t give them an excuse to do something stupid, and risk losing your right to keep and bear arms, forever.