I know many people are a little sensitive about use of public restroom facilities while carrying a firearm. Until the day comes when American public restrooms have stall walls that go all the way to the floor, as Seinfeld’s George Costanza famously advocated, what to do about a firearm in a holster that may be easily visible to passersby or those in adjacent stalls will be one that vexes gun owners. Leave it in and try to cover it up or take it out and risk forgetting it? . . .
NJ.com is reporting that the law of averages has caught up with an unnamed federal air marshal (not pictured above) who opted for the latter choice while on duty at (the ironically-named, given the state’s laws and history,) Newark’s Liberty International Airport.
A federal air marshal left his loaded gun in a bathroom stall at Newark Liberty International Airport, then boarded a flight he was assigned to protect without it, NJ Advance Media has learned.
The incident occurred late last month, when the marshal left the handgun on top of a toilet paper dispenser in the public men’s room near Checkpoint 2 in Terminal C, according to a Transportation Security Administration supervisor and a law enforcement source, who asked their names not be used because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.
The gun was discovered by a airport janitor, who alerted a TSA supervisor, the sources said. The janitor and supervisor sealed off the stall and called Port Authority Police.
Officers took possession of the weapon, which upon inspection was found to be loaded, and then traced its serial number to the marshal, the sources said.
The TSA and the Port Authority Police shut their traps faster than you can say “thin blue line”; TSA spokesperson Michael D. Pascarella declined to comment, stating that “TSA will not discuss the mission activities of Federal Air Marshals.”
This certainly isn’t the first time in recent years that TSA agents have gotten into hot water for negligence (or attempting to cover up the same). nj.com also notes that in 2012, the TSA fired eight New York City-based air marshals for drinking on duty, and suspended another six for failing to report the incident. Around the same time, eight more were fired from Newark Liberty (there’s that ironic name again!) International Airport.
This one, however, involves negligent behavior, so Mr. Unnamed TSA agent, your Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day trophy is in the mail. Or will be as soon as the TSA lets the citizens and taxpayers of this country that your charged with protecting know your identity.
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.