Anyone who’s come through an airport in the last decade is familiar with the sight of a bored looking TSA officer standing (well, let’s be honest, usually sitting on a stool) at the opening where the secure terminal area dumps out into the unsecure area for arriving flights. It’s the furthest into the airport you can go when you’re waiting for a friend or a loved one to arrive. That TSA officer’s sole job is to tell ignorant people who try to go the wrong way that they can’t do that. Apparently that isn’t secure enough for Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, NY, as . . .
they’ve become the first airport in the country to install new automated exit portals as part of a $60 million dollar renovation. The justification for installing the pods is that they replace police or security guards who would normally stand at the exit, therefore saving money. “We need to be vigilant and maintain high security protocol at all times. These portals were designed and approved by TSA which is important,” said Syracuse Airport Commissioner Christina Callahan.
In advance of the thousands of tourists that are expected to flock to the former battlefields of Europe next year in commemoration of the outbreak of World War I, the Belgian DOVO army squad is working at a furious pace to recover as much unexploded ordnance from the area around Ypres as possible. Of the approximately one billion projectiles hurled into the battle by the English and Germans in the area of the salient, an estimated 300 million were duds, and the vast majority of them have not been recovered. Many are explosive, and a some still contain active chemical agents such as mustard and phosgene gas. (The Second Battle of Ypres was the first widespread use of poison gas in Europe.) Last year nearly 160 tons of ordnance — everything from bullets to grenades to 15 inch artillery shells — was unearthed and recovered from the area around Ypres, and more is still found every day, often by farmers who till them up in their fields. The Daily Mail article has many more photos and details.
Army Master Sgt. C.J. Grisham, whose first trial back in October ended in a hung jury and a mistrial, was found guilty today of interference with the duties of an officer, a Class-B misdemeanor. The penalty phase of the trial, which could bring fines of up to $2000 and jail time of not more than 180 days, begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow. [h/t: PhoenixNFA]
A celebrity firearm maker (who knew?) has set up shop in Texas, citing the state’s pro-2nd Amendment values. Jesse James, maker of high-end motorcycles under the West Coast Choppers moniker, is apparently also in the gun business, and held a launch party Saturday night in Austin for the eponymous Jesse James Firearms Unlimited (the website is definitely a WIP). Guns.com apparently got the invite that was meant for TTAG, and has a first-look rundown on the product line. At least in the near term the guns won’t be made in-house, but will be rebranded items at a significant markup. The 1911 is an STI product, and for double-stack/polymer fans there’s a tatted-up FNX .45. The MSR may be an in-house make (the handguard definitely is), but the parts are from Geissele, Magpul, Bravo Company and Wilson Combat. The suppressor is definitely unique to JJFU, with a clamshell design and a semi-gloss powder coated finish. Naturally there are lots of “lifestyle items” (tshirts, fleeces, gloves, hats, beanies) with the JJFU logo prominently displayed. Anybody got some deep pockets?
Obamacare may be hated by most everyone reading this, and is undeniably a colossal Charlie-Foxtrot, but you can thank the debacle, at least in part, for the defeat of some anti-gun bills. It seems that in addition to insurers seeking to avoid claims tied to policyholders’ crimes, the failure of several mandated firearms liability insurance bills to pass has been blamed partially on Obamacare, both the quagmire that the website has been as well as the skittishness of legislators to impose yet another “required” cost on consumers. Alan Gottlieb said, “I don’t think legislators want to get near any kind of mandatory insurance.” So there’s that.