Ah yes. More deft LEO gun handling skills were on display at a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta yesterday. Another Rhodes scholar candidate tried to slip a loaded .22 through a TSA checkpoint when it was detected by x-ray. The TSA monkey called in an Atlanta PD officer, and that’s when things really got dangerous…
Transportation Security Administration screeners reported the gun to Atlanta police officer N.J. Phillips, officer Phillips wrote in an Atlanta Police Department report. The gun’s owner was telling Phillips how to clear the loaded .22 magnum revolver when it was accidentally discharged, Phillips reported. “The weapon was pointed down towards the screening table.”
“I was grazed by a pellet fragment on the left side of my face,” Phillips wrote. “However, there were no visible injuries.”
This probably wouldn’t have happened if the gun owner had been flying Southwest.
(Gun owner Richard) Popkin said he originally intended to pack the bag in his checked luggage, but he removed it because he was concerned about the weight limit for his checked bag, according to the report.
Compliance tip for Mr. Popkin: you can’t just toss a loaded heater in your checked luggage and waltz onto a plane these days. The FAA and the airlines have some fairly specific rules for transporting guns and you’ll spend a lot less time being stripsearched if you do a little research first.
Which brings us to Officer Phillips. Did you really need Popkin to help you unload a revolver? Can it be possible that a (supposedly) trained big-city cop doesn’t know he needs to keep his frickin’ finger off the trigger? Or was this one of those evil, possessed guns that somehow just “goes off” on its own?
With the ever-increasing number of handguns that seem to find their way into luggage at TSA grope stations, maybe cops aren’t the right people to call in when one’s discovered. Maybe the NRA could help staff the security stations with certified gun safety officers. We’ll probably end up ventilating fewer x-ray machines – let alone travellers – that way.