OMG! A Speargun! On a Plane! A Speargun on a Plane!

After a flurry of firearms finds, the media has finally woken-up to the fact that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) confiscates guns from otherwise law-abiding citizens all the time. To the point where CNN felt compelled to run this story under the headline TSA find of the week: speargun. “The passenger arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport ticketed to fly to Antigua. After his weapons [?] were detected, the TSA contacted local law enforcement, who questioned the passenger. TSA spokesman Kawika Riley said this about that: “Just to be clear, passengers should not attempt to bring a spear gun as a carry-on item. The same rule holds for utility knife.” “In the week since the spear gun was found,” CNN adds, “the TSA says it has found 24 loaded and four unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage.” $8.1b well spent. Or not.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

13 Responses to OMG! A Speargun! On a Plane! A Speargun on a Plane!

  1. avatarST says:

    In fairness to the passenger ,considering that the New Jersey Port Authority arrests people who legally check in firearms as policy he had nothing to lose by leaving it in the carry on.

  2. avatarWill says:

    For every one thing found I’m sure there are two or more that slip through.

    Example: On a vacation a female friend of mine realized upon arrival to our final destination that she had left her taser and pepper spray in her purse (which was a carry on). It gets better… a week later on the trip back home she forgot again and STILL made it through security without anyone noticing.

    Kind of scary if you think about it.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    Ever since that Richard Reid guy tried to crash a plane with his Doc Martins, we’ve had to take off our shoes to get through security. I was worried that things would get really weird when they caught the underwear bomber, but no. The TSA is concentrating its efforts on confiscating spear guns and x-raying brassieres — filled, of course. Way to go, TSA. The nation is secure.

  4. TSA is a joke and has accomplished no more safety than the private security we used before. TSA is an abomination to the 4th Amendment and has more criminals in its organization than the Mafia.

    • avatarDrew says:

      They are some thieving bastards aren’t they? I used to “lose” stuff out of my bags all the freaking time when I was flying 4 or 5 days a week. Little shit like pens,cd’s,software, cables, toiletries (seriously, they would steal safety razors all the time, I finally had to quit taking them), prescription drugs (I finally started express mailing them ahead), sunglasses etc. Never anything big enough that made it worth the hassle to fill out all the paperwork, they knew exactly what they could get away with.

  5. avatarMatt in FL says:

    A friend of mine moved to Virginia about 5 years ago. Since then I’ve been back and forth at least twice a year to visit, shoot, hunt, and generally raise hell. I think I’ve accidentally flown with my pocket knife (not real big, a Kershaw Chive, it would pass the old school “closed fist, OK to fly” test) in my backpack more times than I’ve remembered to pack it in my gun case. Security theatre indeed.

  6. avatarGS650G says:

    On the other hand if bad people think that some planes have firearms in carry on baggage they might think twice about pulling anything. Lost in the hoopla about making the plane safe is the simple fact the offender had no intent to harm anyone or take over the flight. There is a substantive difference in intent between a forgetful gun owner and a terrorist but political correctness prevents the TSA from profiling properly.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Get this, GS650G: The TSA said most passengers who carry prohibited items do so without ill intent

      I’ve read a lot of stories about dopes who forget that they have a gun or knife in their carry bag, but I haven’t read a single story about the TSA thwarting anyone with bad intentions.

      Security theater indeed.

  7. avatarbontai Joe says:

    This guy tried to bring his spear gun as carry one luggage? A spear gun???? He deserved to lose it and hopefully he was arrested for being criminally stupid (ah if there was only such a charge!) How in the wide world of sports can anyone think that a spear gun would be ok as carry on? He must have been living under a flat rock for the past dozen years to not know. I inspect my bags before traveling to be absolutely sure I have nothing that will cause a problem. I remember all too well watching a female passenger (an American with very poor manners) in a foreign airport get dragged out of the gate I was waiting in by 4 soldiers with rifles and a LARGE dog because she had contraband in her baggage. She sure didn’t make it on my flight, and maybe still rotting in jail there for all I know, and that was a dozen years ago, (pre 9-11). Having seen that, I would not want to experience that in any airport. And it is such public knowledge that stuff like guns, knives, etc, are not allowed as carry on luggage. It’s on every airline site, the TSA’a website, on big signs all over the airports. Just no excuse for it in my opinion.

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      I spearfish, that is a pneumatic speargun that will not really fire above water. It requires the atmospheric pressure found underwater to have enough force to launch the spear. There obviously was no intent, exspecially when you see that he was flying to Antigua which is a diving and spearfishing hotspot.

      Everyone makes mistakes, we should not be arresting people for a mistake resulting from an ever changing and not all inclusive list. With prison overcrowding do you suggest we release the rapist or the murderer to make a space for the guy who should have checked his luggage instead of carrying it on?

  8. avatarBill Fletcher says:

    “the TSA says it has found 24 loaded and four unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage.”

    And that’s not even counting the firearms they let slide–the ones their own employees accidentally carry through security.

  9. avatarMadDawg J says:

    I don’t know if it still there but Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta used to have a wall displaying carry on items they had confiscated. My favorite was the leaf blower. I have no idea why that person needed to carry it on and couldn’t wait to get it out of luggage check, but I also do not fear terrorists armed with leaf blowers attempting to take over a plane.

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