Delta Airlines security theater
courtesy and AP
Previous Post
Next Post

Reader Michael in GA writes:

I’ve been working at Delta Airlines for 31 years. For the previous 20 years of my life, I grew up under the roar of the jets screaming over my head while at school and home in Red Oak, Georgia. The airport is my life and my life has been Delta.
But I may be in search of a new career as of this morning. And not by choice.

Anti-gun hysteria has hit home. Not just close to home, but home. You may not be familiar with the gun smuggling case a few years back involving two former Delta employees who were shipping gun into New York, but you can read about it here and here.

This is where all the bullshit began. As you probably know, New York has very restrictive gun laws. Progressive leaders have successfully infringed on the right to keep and bear arms in the Empire State, a direct violation of the Bill of Rights. This has created a black market for popular arms that are held by many law abiding citizens in free states. States like Georgia.

These former Delta employees smuggled guns to New York City on several Delta flights in order to capitalize on the restrictions unconstitutionally imposed there. After a political zealot, Brooklyn New York District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, prosecuted the case, he pressured his anti-freedom counterpart in Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed, to do something about this “egregious breech of security.” Delta, being beholden to the political leaders here, agreed to “give full cooperation” to the authorities in addressing this issue.

What that means is, for the first time in my 30-year career, I now have to be screened before work every day. On the first day, my wife put a steak knife in my lunch to cut some grilled chicken she’d packed for me. The security contractors discovered this “prohibited item” and confiscated it. I was only allowed to proceed to my work area after my supervisor was summoned. I was, however, allowed to retain my job.

Fast forward to last week. On my way out the door, I recalled that I didn’t have a spare magazine in my truck for my personal defense weapon. I like to keep extra ammo handy because the world we live in today is so unpredictable and I have the right to defend myself and my loved ones. So I tossed a spare mag containing 15 9mm defensive cartridges into the cargo pocket of my work pants with the intention of stowing it in my truck.

As you can probably guess, I forgot to remove the magazine from my pocket before approaching the security checkpoint. When the metal detector sounded, I realized my error. I negotiated to return the item to my truck, which was met with resistance. I had to divulge the “prohibited item” and sign a “PIN Form (Prohibited Item Notification), just as I did with the steak knife.

Fine. I’d been through this before. I might be a little late for work, but all would be well. Except this time…guns!

The College Park Police were called. They in turn called the TSA. The TSA called the city’s Department of Aviation, who then called corporate security for Delta. And security called my supervisor.

Guess which one had my back? No one from Delta.

The local police officer was the only person who used any common sense. She said, “Go put it back in your truck.”
But the DoA confiscated my security badge. Delta confiscated my Delta ID. And the security contractor confiscated my GLOCK magazine and ammo.

So I am currently unemployed pending an investigation by the DoA and a review of my file by Delta…a record that is clean with the exception of the steak knife incident. Not that the DoA likely cares. It’s not looking good for the home team. Tell me again how we live in a free nation?

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. That totally sucks. According to posted Delta rules, ammunition isn’t even necessarily restricted.

    I made the mistaken of not completely “sanitizing” my carry-on computer bag on a trip from a NW airport to LA. A magazine of 9mm had fallen to the bottom of the bag – TSA screeners missed it at my departure, but TSA in LA found it. My did they howl! TSA supervisor wanted to arrest me, deny me a flight, or at least do something to show his authority. Fortunately, TSA only screens, LAPD handles the rest. The LAPD officer had me hand over the ammo, and asked me to put the empty mag in checked bags, just to keep the TSA drones happy. He could not have cared less about the empty mag.

      • Lucky you were not in New Jersey, because possession of defensive ammo (hollow point bullets) outside the home or gun range is a felony in New Jersey.

        This means when New Jersey cops want to put someone in prison just for mouthing off to them about a speeding ticket (“felony disrespect of a cop”), they don’t have to toss a gun in the suspect’s car; all they have to do is drop one hollow point bullet on the floor of the suspect’s car, then use that as an excuse to slap on the handcuffs and charge them with a felony. Yes, it happened to a woman gun owner who refused to consent to having her car searched, because she thought it was her Constitutional right, then realized too late that “New Jersey is where Constitutional rights go to die!” How do you prove to a judge that the single hollow-point bullet the cop planted in the back seat of your car isn’t yours, unless you only own guns in oddball calibers like .44 Russian?

        • lack of finger prints maybe? that’s a bitch though. They will probably just gloss over that or not even bother to do it. Not sure if the defense team could make them do it pre-trial discovery, not sure how that all works

        • That’s the problem with the legal system today. It’s no longer innocent until proven guilty, it’s the opposite. An officer/prosecutor’s word is infallible in the eyes of judges & the burden of proof lies on the accused to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they’re innocent.
          Except somehow this doesn’t seem to apply to many high profile cases in which the evidence of culpability of the defendant would seem overwhelming to most citizens. Those people somehow get away with their crimes. (Think OJ, Casey Anthony, Jose Zarate)

  2. If you’re airline, you’re union. If your union won’t push back 300%, put it out there to your union brothers that your union is only exercising its “strength in numbers” against one of its members (you). I’d get an attorney with a hard-on for this stuff and start talking all kinds of extra sheets of legal paper needed to list (what will be) co-respondents in a lawsuit. I’d get a letter in the works from your Governor, and (a general letter) from the FAA (assuming your job requires licensure).

    • Actually, Delta is the least unionized airline. Only the pilots and dispatch group is unionized (outside of 3 groups at a wholly owned subsidiary airline). Judging by the fact that he only recently began being screened, safe to assume he isn’t a pilot and dispatch doesn’t work at the airport.

  3. This sounds like the people that “forget” they have a firearm in their carry-on luggage. Unfortunately, this falls under the “this is why we can’t have nice things” category and being a bonehead is no excuse. You do something stupid, you live with the consequences. Even if they aren’t fair or enforced (un-enforced) equally across the nation.

    • Stupid and forgetful are two entirely different things. Look them up in the dictionary if you don’t believe me. The fault for this absurdity does not lie with those that have unintentionally violated unethical laws it rests with all of the cogs that let these laws get made and enforced. Michael was thrown under the bus by his fellow citizens, he didn’t crawl there.

      • It’s not a law, its corporate policy, and the intention to break a corporate rule is unimportant. Its binary, you either break the rule or you didn’t, and by his own admission, the is the second time, he got a pass on the first one.

        Those two douches ruined it, but its not like it was some sort of surprise new rule.

        • Of course you, are correct about the laws vs. corporate policy. I thought and spoke a carelessly. I will still posit that the errors Michael made could not and did not result in injury or loss. “The law is the law” (using the word law here because is how the saying goes) is a lame excuse for over reacting. It is also easier to “sanitize” yourself for the occasional trip to the airport than it is for your your job. I find it hard to believe that most people have not accidentally taken prohibited items to work. At my new job even bringing a pen knife is a firing offense but the place is chock full of excellent potential weapons for sale that anyone could grab and use very easily if they chose to. Still, I am embarrassed that I spoke of laws when the subject was company policy. I replied way too quickly after a long day at work. Guilty as charged.

        • Gotta side with chuck on this one.

          I’ve worked jobs where a screwup will get people killed. Burns my ass when partial screwups are written off as dumb rules. It might be your first or second transgression but from the other side the endless supply of transgressions sure looks spooky. No metal in the MRI room means NO METAL IN THE MRI ROOM! Why is that so difficult to understand.

          Looks to me like Delta’s policy might be starting to work.

        • If he had broken rules that actually did compromise safety, I would be more sympathetic to Delta’s policy and decision here. Delta is certainly within their rights, but that doesn’t mean it is good policy.

        • Ya see Vic, that’s why we can’t have nice things. If the rule is no knives and someone is let in with a knife and goes all ape, well then we’ve got a serious problem. If someone wanted to enter my building with a pocket full of ammo, it would raise some serious red flags. A mag of ammo, sure I get it. He forgot. But try this on…If you cannot keep your guns and/or ammo under control–like not forgetting about it in security–then you pose a threat either way. You can decide, but the result is the same. Either your are a buffoon who should not be able to own guns, or you are doing something malicious and just might be a terrorist or gun smuggler.

          Imagine if said individual was later caught smuggling contraband and a check of records showed that said individual had two priors that were ignored, one with a knife and one with a loaded mag. Trust me, TTAG would be the first to dog pile on the lax security making it the poster child of everything that’s wrong in America.

        • So if i understand your position if the TSA fails just once we can finally get past this security theater?

      • Clear example of over reaction!
        If it we’re an actual firearm, then Big Problem!
        This is a long term employee, which may be an issue for the airline. Their chance to reduce the payroll!

        • Exactly, no firearm involved. For christ sakes you can ship ammo UPS. The steak knife was the more serious violation and they realized how stupid things were for that.

  4. Anyone reading this and thinks someone at work has your back ask yourself two questions

    1. Do you own the company?

    2. Do your parents own the company?

    If you don’t get one yes then nobody has your back.

    • It’s not the job of the company (or it’s owners) to look out for you. It’s the job of the company to look out for the company. It’s best for all the employees that this is the case. No one person is more important than the company as a whole. You get paid a fair wage for the time and efforts you exchange with your company. Beyond that they really don’t owe you anything more. A great company will still give more, but there’s no entitlement. If you aren’t getting paid enough, find a new job. If job security is more important to you than compensation, consider joining the army.

  5. Every time I’ve lost a job, 6 months later I realized I was better off.
    Back when the fad was to hijack planes to Cuba, I was detained at MHT because I have several metal pieces in my body from various good ideas gone bad.
    The lone guard was really proud of himself until I pointed to the aircraft I was renting by the hour and asked if he thought I would hijack myself? While he was trying to figure that out, my sister and I scooted to the plane and left. Afraid the guard got permanent brain damage from my question. Good luck with your current adventure.

  6. Your pompous, self-righteous attitude seems to be the main problem in my view. Your opinion about the restrictive gun laws in New York and elsewhere clearly played a part, consciously or otherwise, in why you failed to adhere to the security restrictions imposed by your job for the safety of the public and your workplace. One could easily conclude from your asinine dribble that you felt the degenerate criminals at Delta who smuggled guns to New York actually did nothing wrong. You are an ignorantly arrogant idiot and frankly I wouldn’t feel safe flying on a Delta plane from an airport where you worked. Good riddance!

      • Those Delta smuggler douches were in the wrong. If someone is smuggling illegal guns and stuff into NYC, Chicago, Cali, DC, or wherever, the most likely scenario is that they are going to criminals. Not good ol’ boys or geriatric collectors like those grandpas who get busted in Bongland and Ausfailia all the time, but gangsta drug dealers shooting it out in da hood. Most of the people who would not abuse firearms have already fled the oppressive inner cities for the suburbs or other states (where they can obtain good firearms and have a lower cost of living with higher quality, but oftentimes they still propagate the same leftist oppression that they fled from to begin with). Just like you defending those guys, somewhere on a pot forum they are defending some drug smugglers who dindunuffin. Guns and marijuana should not be restricted though, and that’s why there is a black market for those guys to take advantage of.

        • This nation was founded by smugglers who flouted the law and shot the cops (redcoats) of the day.

    • Exactly what did the “degenerate criminals” do wrong besides save on shipping costs?

      Please, tell me more about this Interstate smuggling business. One could drive to cesspool New York with guns to sell I assume.

    • Oh, I finally understand Cinquex! Being “stupid” or unenlightened is a criminal offense and worthy of losing one’s job and/or going to prison. I don’t know why it took me so long to embrace the idea that “little people” have no right to provide for themselves or be free.

      How about we consider firing people or sending them to prison ONLY WHEN THEY HARM SOMEONE.

  7. There are some complaints which show you’re willing to speak truth, even if unpopular. There are some complaints which show you’re butthurt about making obviously dumb mistakes and are looking for validation.

    • Yeah, so the posted rules were…posted, not even recently changed. But your wife packed a “steak” knife, then you packed a loaded mag. Both were things that were specifically against the rules, and when you broke it the first time, unwittingly, you got a pass, the next time you unwittingly broke the same rules, they actually enforced the rules.

      You know what unwitting means, without wit, i.e. stupid.

        • Right, the book, like your job tells you to do stuff. Well F them, I’ll do what I want at the job they pay me for, screw them and all their rules.

          In reality world sometimes you have to suck it up and follow the rules, or you can live under an overpass, but whatever, you do you.

      • the thing is, this is a absolute travesty of common sense. Employer has the right to make all the asinine rules he wants for his private business. That’s fine it’s his right, it’s really stupid however to fire good help over something that could have been solved with, “Hey Frank, go put that back in your car you scatter-brain dofus”. End. Finished. Done.

        Instead it becomes some security theatre virtue signaling circle jerk. It’s the employer’s right to fire over the policy violation. No one is contesting (I hope) the rights of the employer to run his business and property as he sees fit. Just like it’s my right to wear only a speedo with cod piece and go for a walk. Both are rights, doesn’t make them a good idea.

  8. Here we go with “It’s somebody else’s fault” again. Through forgetfulness or careless you broke the rules with the steak knife and got by with it. That should have been a red flag to be more careful but you then broke the rules even worse with the magazine problem. I don’t feel sorry for your situation but I might be a little concerned that someone with your forgetfulness or carelessness might have a impact on the safety of the plane.

    • Since magazines are worse than knives, you get the magazine, I’ll take the knife, and then we can fight and see what happens. Or we can pay bums to do it if you don’t want to fight, but you have to bet on the guy with the magazine.

  9. Every time I fly. I make damn sure of what I have on my body, in my carry on and in my checked baggage, Yes it is a pain but following the rules and not being hassled is preferred. As a side not to this story I flew Delta in July 2001 to Costa Rica.I had a 4 inch folding knife in my pocket that went into the change and key pan on the luggage belt. There was a 5 inch fixed blade in a sheath and a 7 inch U.S Air Force Spec Op knife with sheath. Inside my carry on. They all passed through security at the St Louis airport as well a Harts field in Atlanta. No questions asked. Same thing coming back into the United States 10 days later. September 11 2001 forever changed that dynamic. For good or bad will always be debated.

  10. They’re not pissed off that you did something wrong, they’re pissed off that we’re on to them. They have to come down on it or they start losing a game they’ve been winning.

    It’s prohibition by other means. It’s designed to label people bad and wrong. It’s “Sovereignty By Other Means” imposing NY preferences on people who don’t live there (and can’t vote for the government there)

    Maybe if NY State wants to restrict use, ownership and commerce (in guns) in their state, they should do that, rather than trying to restrict that stuff in other states. (Of if Tiny Dancer can’t dial back the carnage done with guns in his city, he maybe should remove guns … in his city. Whining about gun sales in places that don’t have a violence problem is both a distraction and a power-grab … on the backs of dead children.)

    Of course the trolls come out on this one. (Hi!)

    Here’s the thing. You’re allowed to despise the gun laws in NY State. Indeed, you’re allowed to ignore, outside NY State, the gun laws in NY State. They managed to get their preferences extended not just to parts of NY State that disagree, but now across state lines. If you complain about getting caught by that, people might notice.

    This isn’t about the particular policy, although they don’t like guns, and hate you. They need to shut up any push-back long enough for pushing their laws into other states by other means to become normal.

    Here’s how it works…
    This round the scam is “safety”, and they’re pushing a kind of enforcement. Earlier it was “oil crisis” and “environment”, pushing industrial policy. Right now, the perennially verklempt are wound up at the federal threat to restrict funding to “sanctuary cities” to get city and state policies in line with what the feds want, without the jurisdiction. Guess who started that scam (in modern times?) President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, who, stopped from mandating federal speed limits (“For the children!”) came up with simply withholding federal highway funding unless states reduced the speed limit to what he wanted. It’s been a way of inflicting federal control by other means ever since; with no complaints from the right-thinking people until it hit an issue they care about.

    “We have a problem, so you need to do enforcement to solve it.” is another one of these work-arounds. They’re pissed because if you point it out, people may decide they don’t like it, before they take over everything they want that way.


      • “They” the universalist, unitarian coalition of of “Everything not compulsory is forbidden!” They can’t stand you doing anything yourself, for yourself. Can’t stand if you have preferences different from theirs, either. Might even call you “deplorable.”

        The anti-gun folks are a subset. Bloomie’s agitprop machinery a smaller yet subgroup. They hate you more particularly, for having a gun, but if you clean that up they’ll find another particular.

  11. My supervisor told me the other day I can’t have a pocket knife at work. I said, “are you sure? Because it hasn’t been a problem every day for the past 8 years. It wasn’t a problem a few weeks ago when I used it to help the EVP and Chief Compliance Officer open some boxes. In fact, we don’t even have a weapons policy in the employee manual, in case that’s what you’re worried about.” She just nodded and we got back on topic.

    Despite the brief moment of “I’m pretty sure it’s my responsibility to tell you that’s not permitted (to cover our asses),” this is how rational people deal with this stuff. I do not take for granted that I work in a great place with great people. If my company ever implemented standards like Delta, I’d be out the door in a blink. And so would my supervisor.

    • Rational? I don’t know. Sensible? Not so much. Think twice before actually using that tone or specious argument with your supervisor. It is neither wise nor becoming. Calmly asking her to review the handbook policy with you is a much better counter. Even the Apostle Paul, who had a penchant for starting riots, knew enough to inquire, “I didn’t know it was legal to flog a Roman citizen??” Being level-headed and polite is always impressive. Being absolutely right but cocky and obnoxious will never make you look good.

  12. Meanwhile, real terrorists have long since dumped planes in favor of trucks.

    Hopefully hertz doesn’t follow Delta’s piss poor example

  13. Well, that sucks and it’s pretty understandable considering that over the past three decades it wouldn’t have been a problem and you might not have even realized you’d done it until you got home. Changing long term daily habits of doing/not doing something is actually a lot harder than most people realize.

    Realistically the thing that gets me about this is how poor security is at the airport. A few times I’ve realized I was carrying a prohibited item after I was on the plane. More than once after 9/11 I’ve been on a plane and reached into my pocket for something like a chapstick or to swap my phone to “airplane mode” only to realize that I had a knife clipped to the pocket. (This was pre-body scanners.)

    Eventually I just stuck to the idea that I am so used to carrying a knife that I don’t feel it anymore and got into the habit of checking, rechecking and rechecking again to make sure that everything “prohibited” was in checked luggage and then checking myself again in the parking lot before going into the airport. It’s a pain but these days it’s worth it to avoid the hassle.

    The thing that really does suck however (for passengers at least, dunno about workers) is that the TSA folks at the checkpoint get the final say unless you call in an Airport Manager. When I was still testing my blood sugar every day I was hassled for over an hour about my lancets. Sure the book and the TSA website say they’re good to go but that agent didn’t like the idea of a 2-3mm pokey thing that could be attached to a spring loaded piece of plastic because she didn’t know what it was but was SURE it was a weapon. She actually told people she was certain it could launch the “darts” I had. (*facepalm*)

    I’d probably hassle the author about following rules if the airport rules 1) made sense 2) didn’t change based on the whims of a $12/hour idiot and 3) the security wasn’t a flat out joke/theater.

    • Did you know that golf clubs are a prohibited item in the employee parking lot yet I am paid to handle golf clubs while in the secured area on the tarmac?
      But I am the stupid one here.

  14. A year ago I was a little late getting on my way to the airport.
    I got home from work, locked up my gun, grabbed my bag, and jumped into my buddy’s truck and we headed to the airport.
    Was right at the point where they screen you, was taking off my jacket, put my hand in my coat pocket, oh crap.
    I had a loaded mag in my pocket.
    There was a trash can next to me so I dumped the ammo in the trash.
    I couldn’t remember if they would let me carry an empty mag on plane, so I asked the TSA guy at the front if I could and he didn’t know.
    He asked someone and they said NO
    They wouldn’t let me throw it in the trash.
    I had to surrender it to some guy that worked for Delta.
    Good thing was that when I got back to where they screen you the same TSA guy saw me and pulled me to the front of the line and I went right threw.
    All the time I’m thinking “Now I understand how these people make these kind of dumb mistakes”.

    • Hell, I was taking off my shoes and emptying my pockets at BNA when I realized I still had my S&W Bodyguard .380 in my pocket. Had to go back through the first security, out to my truck, and ditch the gun under the seat. I’ve been traveling a lot BNA-LAX this year, I was running late, damn near caused myself a lot of hassle. Had I been TSA Precheck, i would have made it all the way to the magno. So I see how it could happen, and I won’t let it (almost) happen to me again.

  15. Well mark me down as an asshole too . How many other employees in this time frame got caught twice with prohibited items ? Oh it’s ok his mom packed his lunch first go round , and who doesn’t walk around with a 15 round mag in their pocket and not know its there .

    Sorry he goes through these check points daily , it’s not like he showed up,one day and surprise !

    • “…and who doesn’t walk around with a 15 round mag in their pocket and not know its there…”

      I dunno what he does but if he’s a mechanic it’s entirely possible. You’d be shocked what you can forget about in your pockets when you carry tools around all day. Office types don’t understand that.

      • Mechanics can bring in tools that would otherwise be prohibited provided they have engraving that denotes they are to be used for work related functions.
        I’m not making this shit up guys. This world is so fucked up. But I am the idiot.

  16. Georgia is a right to work state so your boss can fire your for any reason or none. Plenty of jobs out there in the Atlanta area now. Just ignore the jerks who have no empathy, there are always folks happy to tell you that warm wet feeling on your back is just rain.

    • Ever heard of pissing up a rope or into the wind? If you’re the one pissing, and you think its rain, then that’s probably a YOU problem not a THEM problem.

    • Why in the world would would someone post on TTAG an article trying to get sympathy for a plain dumb thing.

      Common sense rules apply, his boss gave him his first “Oh sorry my stupid wife did it” out, I’m sure when the second incident happened his boss said “fool me once…never fool me again” or something, and shit canned him.

      I would never actually tell anyone that story and expect anything but simple derision. It defies logic that its defensible, I go through security screening at least 3 times a week, and I carry every day, for 20 years, most people on TTAG too. If I’d screwed the pooch, I’d have posted it as a “Look at something stupid I did, please don’t do the same thing” article, not a poor me post. Not poor him, dumb him, look at the bonehead thing he did, it wasn’t some secret trap, its literally the thing that happens every day when you show up to work, and he got 2 bites at the apple.

      He’s the poster boy for pay attention to your shit, or you may end up unemployed. That’s not on Delta, its a perfectly nothing special business, and has big company rules, nothing even remotely surprising, other than he didn’t get shit canned the first time.

  17. You’re a total idiot for not removing the mag from your pocket. Hell, you’re an idiot for putting the mag in your pocket in the first place. You should have walked out to your truck with it in your hand and immediately upon getting in your tuck, you should have stowed the mag where you intended to stow it. You’re idiocy cost you your job.

    • A fifteen round 9mm mag is every bit of a half pound, a bit heavier than my ginormous iPhone actually, so its not like a Seecamp mag or a Bic lighter. When you stick your hand in your pocket to put your stuff in the basket, or walk through the magnetometer, you’d have to notice. Just say oops, forgot my phone, or whatever, and go back to your car.

      If it was in your bag, then that’s off body carry which really isn’t useful, and if it he took it to the range or some other pure storage container, that’s a huge reason your work bag and your range bag aren’t the same bag. Especially if you have to go through security every single day.

  18. You should’ve just claimed you were a gay transsexual transracial and that magazine was a required part of your daily rectal stimulus. No, I’m not joking. Threaten to sue over that and they’ll drop it like a hot sack of shit. We gotta use the liberals tactics against them here people.

  19. This stuff always puzzles me. When you become so unaware that you have guns and parts, when you become so unaware that you have a gun on you, when you become so unaware that you have gun parts in your bags or pockets, when you are not sensitive at all times to the presence of guns and gun parts on your person (or in your bag), when you become comfortable using the same bag for storing/carrying guns and parts and for travel, are you not becoming an irresponsible gun owner? Should there not be consequences for not being hyper aware of what you are doing?

    Not being a “gun guy”, I cannot enter a state of mind that can rationalize the idea that someone “forgot” they had a gun in their carry-on luggage, or “forgot” they had bullets (or whatever) in their pants pockets. But to be certain to not fall into such habits, maybe it is good that I do not have a gun that can be easily concealed, or “fogotten”.

    • That’s what I thought when I started carrying a wallet, in the long long ago. Now I pretty much only notice it if I think about it being there.

      • Good point.

        Which is why I have my wallet in my right front pocket. It gets in the way, and drags the belt a bit lower. Always needs adjusting. Hard to forget.

        Of course, when I used to have the wallet in my back pocket, all the cash made me look taller sitting at the bar, oogling the babes.

    • I find with just about anything, the more you say it will never happen to me, the more likely it is to happen.

      That’s how we get NDs from otherwise safe people, forgotten guns and parts, etc etc.

      • NDs I kinda, almost understand. Not knowing you have a gun, or parts/accessories in you clothing/baggage means one is establishing the conditions, ones self, for unnecessary confusion. I guess I have convinced myself that I committed to keep guns and the rest of my activities in separate rooms and containers at all times. Just cannot, so far, imagine a time when I would use one container for both situations.

  20. In anything you do (go through TSA, drive a car, etc.), there is a nonzero probability that you’re going to make a mistake. You can make that probability very small, but you can never make it zero. If you do that thing enough times, eventually the mistake will happen.

    Zero tolerance policies fail to take into account this reality, and as a result they treat someone making a simple mistake for the first time the same as a jihadist out to kill everyone. That’s irrational.

    Yes, some mistakes get you killed. In those cases additional, redundant controls are needed: checklists, interlocks, two man rule, etc. The rest of the time the rules need to be structured to take into account that we all make mistakes.

    For those on here who are boasting about how they never make a mistake…pride goeth before a fall.

    • “For those on here who are boasting about how they never make a mistake…pride goeth before a fall.”

      Thoroughly agree. However……(you knew “however” was coming).

      When you are doing the routine things, familiarity can quickly lead to “mistakes”. When handling guns becomes “routine”, that seems inexcusable.

      When I was flying, aircrew had multiple equipment bags, from briefcases to bags to transport a parachute. Even though I didn’t have a privately owned gun, I did not use my special purpose bags for personal travel (to anywhere). Why? The possibility that I would leave an important item of flight gear in the bag, and leave that piece of gear at grandma’s house when returning to home base….then discover during flight (or preflight prep) I did not have that item. Military gear was transported in military containers, civilian gear in separate containers; never mixed. Is that process unreasonable for guns and equipment? When I take my .22 plinker to the range, I do not carry the gun, ammo, eye and hearing protection in a bag used for any other purpose (tried putting stuff in cargo pants, but access later was not a simple thing). None of the containers that go to the range would ever be used to travel via automobile or airline (trains or buses).

      Have I just not been doing this long enough to get comfortable enough to “cut corners”? Am I just doomed to one day screwing this up?

      • 98.7% mistake free is right, everyone makes mistakes.
        I once went through airport security with a backpack containing a silver flute, broken down into its components for carrying.
        The flute looked suspicious on the X-ray, like a disassembled firearm, so they hand-checked my bag, and the bag-checker totally missed the compartment containing the suspicious-looking flute, but guess what he did find? He found a folding knife that I’d totally forgotten was in the backpack!
        This was before 9/11, so nobody freaked out, they just let me hand the knife to relatives who weren’t flying, and then board the plane.

        Another problem for gun owners is jackets with concealed-carry pockets in them.
        It’s easy to forget you carry a gun if it’s always in the inner pocket of a jacket you wear every winter day.
        Since I live in NJ, the CC pocket of my everyday jacket never contained a gun, but it did contain a plastic 12-gauge flare gun that was so light it was easy to forget it was there. Luckily, I never wore that jacket going through airport security, but I did leave it on the back of a chair in a waiting room at the doctor’s office. Later I realized there were children in that waiting room, and if a curious or kleptomaniac child had found the flare gun in my jacket’s inner pocket, and fired the 12-gauge flare, I could’ve been liable for burning down the building or a host of other consequences! I’d like to think that if it was a real gun, not a plastic flare gun, I would’ve been more careful, but I’ll never know for sure, since I live in a state where CC of real guns isn’t allowed for law-abiding civilians (New Jersey).

  21. Delta’s actions are just a symptom – like a frightened child seeking some kind of ‘approval’. The real problem is the thieves and perverts of a rogue government’s TSA. If an agent or ‘supervisor’ (in my case, one named Cota-Robles) wants something of yours, he’ll insist it ‘isn’t allowed on aircraft’ and steal it.

  22. According to federal law, only one part of a gun is a firearm. The magazine is NOT a firearm. Maybe it is not a good idea(like the steak knife), but an airport worker is not flying the gun unfriendly skies, he is working right there at the airport.
    paying attention to what he has on him before going through screening is part of his job, but mistakes happen. Getting fired is a little extreme.

  23. To 98.7%,
    You are 100% correct!
    Any human endeavor will have errors and mistakes because people are involved
    Even in 0 error, high risk areas like anesthesia
    We have a safety foundation that has been doing some great work on making anesthesia safer
    Engineering human factors out of the equation has been a fertile area to increase safety
    That is why I am so against Glock with its design flaw that you have to pull the trigger to field strip the gun
    That is an open invitation to a negligent discharge
    There are other striker fired guns that do not require a trigger pull to take apart
    There is no reason NOT to engineer a fix where you do not have to pull the trigger
    When millions of people are involved, there will be forgetful and negligent people
    Just like the original poster here
    He was negligent in forgetting the loaded magazine
    You can talk all you want about how “safety is between your ears” and stupid stuff like that
    This man is a perfect example of how inattention, negligence, and plain old routine can lead to this kind of an error
    Don’t buy striker pistols you have to pull the trigger to strip and don’t bring guns or magazines to the airport!
    Check twice!

  24. I’ve been pulled over twice in 50 years.

    Most police officers are ok. It’s not a job I want….dealing with the cream de la creme everyday, getting spit at, sworn at, etc. Realizing that management will NOT back you up.

    When I get back from the range after everything is tucked away I go back to my car and look everywhere for? An unexpended round or a shell casing. I don’t want any cop giving me s&*t for that if I”m pulled over or in a car accident.

    Just a little paranoid. I carry a full size now and the Kahr 9MM is so small I don’t realize I have it sometimes.

    If you want to play operator, go fast. But before and after, GO SLOW AND THINK. No such thing as being in a rush with guns and ammo except in a gunfight. That’s what sneakers are for.

  25. Lots of folks carry everyday – like insurance, if you don’t have your gun with you, it’s no good, do why get a carry permit ? The gun goes on my person right after my pants – and it is so habitual that doing so happens with a minimum of thought. I can easily see how it could happen to me, but still my responsibility. For most of the 36 years I worked for the same outfit, no rules governed, except “don’t ask, don’t tell” . The last 5 years Human Resources asshats put out a “no unauthorized weapons” policy , to include bows that the early morning hunters frequently had visible in their trucks after coming to work from the woods. I ignored the rules until retirement, but was fully aware of the workplace consequences(no LEGAL ramifications).
    On the flip side, most people there knew what part of the building to come to if there should be an active shooter event !

  26. Some states passed laws to prevent companies from banning firearms from their parking lots in cars.

    One company I worked at had such a policy and no state law to prevent them. A large facility so they had a security manager, a veteran. I talked to him in his office one day: “I have a concealed carry permit. Company policy of no firearms in vehicles means I am unprotected to and from work every day. Are you prepared to take responsibility for my safety?”

    He sat there and looked at me for at least a minute and finally said: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and that was the end of it. He knew I was a veteran and without saying so was on my side. I’v always wondered the outcome if HR had found out.

  27. To everyone that understands my point of view, thank you.
    To the critics calling me stupid, I want you to know that I feel no reaction when reading your comments.
    When the metal detector alerted, and I realized what that meant, my heart sank. I knew I was in big trouble and I couldn’t believe I forgot to stow the mag in my truck.
    The pocket is a loose cargo pocket so the mag was lost in there. The weight is irrelevant. Bottom line, the error occurred as soon as I sat in my truck to get going. How many of you are that alert at 5am? Every day, I have a cup of coffee and a plate of raisin toast in one hand, car keys and a lunch sack in the other.
    As I was getting ready to leave, I saw two mag pouches on my counter and knew one was supposed to be in the truck. So I dropped in my pocket.
    Don’t see where intelligence or the lack thereof has any bearing in this case. Yeah, I fucked up. But get out of your routine and it can happen to anybody. I’ve seen people lose their eyeglasses when they were on their face.
    The silly thing is, I handle guns all day at work and thanks to CAGPT, I know which bags they are in.
    I could check my own gun then rendezvous with it on the ramp. If you text me your combination, I can board the plane you are on and hand you your gun in a paper bag and say “enjoy your meal sir”.
    As the title reads, the point is to show the futility of screening airline workers, not to make excuses or garner sympathy from a bunch of strangers on the internet.
    Those who are sympathetic, thank you.

      • That reminds me of another MHAF base TSA dude incident. One day we waited in line at the contractors gate, at least an hour and half, as our military was having computer issues. Trucks backed up all the way to the highway. As we got close to the inspection area, about 3 ahead of us, my young helper in my truck with me, had a devastating poop comming on. The kind that comes on with no warning, and if not taken care, there will be a mess in ones underware. The blue room was just a few feet away. My helper, started to get out of my truck, but the TSA dude was not sympatethic, screamed at him, and ushered him back into my truck. My young man tried to explain the dire situation, but the TSA threatened to have him arrested. As our turn came to move into the security area, they young guy bolted to the blue room. The TSA was so upset, the called for the bomb and drug searching dogs to go thru our truck and trailer, and the blue room.Detained us, and the entire line of trucks another hour. Let me back up, We go thru the contractors gate every other month or so. We pass security checks all the time. The uniformed USAF guards were all shaking their heads, but evidently could say anything.

    • I hope all works out for you. Thank God, I am self employed and live in a gun carrying state as well as neighboring states. Several of our sheriff deputies teach firearms instruction of some kind, and so do our city cops. But, I have a story….I sent my wife a month ago to Mountain Home AFB, to do some testing for the base as a contractor. Of course she carries, we all carry concealed. She declared her firearm in her truck, with the ammo separate location. The TSA dude come off the wall, and thru the biggest arrest fit, and so on. UNTIL one of the uniformed, USAF, security guards, tappped him and said the firearms policy is posted on the wall. She can enter the base as long as she complies. The TSA dude said, when did they change that rule! He left, went outside, was pxssed, and had a smoke, as my wife went onto the base, with her firearm on the passenger seat, open, and with out magazine. Magazine in glovebox. As per the rules. The USAF guard apologized, and talked firearms and such. The TSA dude went somewhere, maybe to complain to the ??? My wife was almost late to the job, while discussing hunting, firearms, training, etc., with all our uniformed military people at the gate.

    • being human means attaining zero is not possible.
      we all see incredibly dumb stuff- none of what you did qualifies; it was unfortunate, yes.
      i’ve moved past some high profile lapses at work. work history should count for much leniency- they have the latitude. but sometimes examples need to be made.

  28. I am taking therapy for a surgery to my shoulder, wearing jogging pants with no pockets I always stash my wallet, car keys and phone in my hat. Other day someone moving my hat caused the wallet to fall open exposing my CCW. There was this chill immideatly I had a gun carry permit!!!! Talk turned to how the hospital was a gun free zone and all that, I told them I know that. Heck where and what kind of gun could I have carried in sweat pants? A NAA revolver up my bum?
    No one thought about the fact I had two other picture ID’s one a state issued driver’s permit, and the new federal issued V.A. card all given after a thourough back ground check.
    The time will possibly come when like the Dr. A person will have to answer a job application stating whether he, she owns a gun or hunts which will be considered a reason to not hire.
    That’s back door gun control by employers.

  29. Move to Texas….listen to these great people…..and your life will be free…….just sayin’……. 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here