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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? . . . 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). 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.

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  1. I will never understand the need or desire to slide your pants all the way down touching the filthy floor of a public restroom. Its not hard to leave your weapon holstered while unholstering your other gun.

    • Always use a stall when carrying. Don’t take it off your belt. Don’t let your pants hit the floor, thats disgusting. You hold the pants up by your knees if #2, you use your hands on the fly to pin the gun to your waist using the fly if #1. Its not that hard.

        • Nicely put. But now how am I supposed to read the rest of the comments without my mind returning to the gutter?

  2. What’s part of the reason I like Glocks? They are light enough to stay in place on my leather snap – retention Bianchi holster. No need to remove the gun from the holster whilst taking a #2.

    While on duty, I either #2 back at the station or in a “secure” government building. I don’t want to lose my sh!t.

  3. He should be fired and face charges and jail time. This is a big mistake, and living in a post 9/11 world, loaded guns have no place in an airport except an agents waist band.

    i also do not see why he put it on a toilet paper dispenser. I take it out of my holster, drop my pants and position my holster so its on the inside of my pants near the crotch area, then put my gun in the same area with the waist part of my pants over it so nobody can see. (I place the gun in the middle before my pants go down so it cant be seen)

    And when I pull my pants up, one hand holds the gun and holster, while the other pulls my pants up untill my gun cant be seen

    • Do you think 9/11 changed reason and morality? Also, are you positing that only government agents be armed there or on planes?

    • This is a big mistake, and living in a post 9/11 world, loaded guns have no place in an airport except an agents waist band.

      And, pray tell, how did 9/11 involve guns at all that warrant such a comment?

      • Im talking about the way the government has stepped up security and the public image in this country. I think if we as cpl/ccw/whatever your state calls it, take an extra class and you get a pfz endorsement you get to carry in damn near all pfz’s

  4. To be fair, we don’t know what he’d been eating; absent-mindedness could be understood in certain scenarios…

  5. If you’re on duty when nature calls and you have to make use of a stall you take your duty belt off and drape it around your neck. No one can grab your gun from the next stall over and you won’t forget it. It’s not hard stuff.

  6. I am fortunate that I can carry at work and that the stall latches in my building perfectly catch my infidel holsters belt thingy.
    I cannot get out of the stall without putting my holster back on.
    Since 98.2% of my poops occur there or at home. I cannot forget it because my gun/holster locks me in.

  7. I use a stall for both. A toilet paper dispenser is almost a eye level when you’re sitting. It’s in front of you the whole time you’re there, when you’re pulling up your pants. How intense of a load would you have to drop to forget something right in front of you? And I notice the lack of weight when my Shield is not there. A Sig? Come on!

  8. This is one reason why I carry full sized firearms. (M9 and Springfield Armory XD 45 ACP 5 inch tactical) There is no way not to notice that one of these is not on my body before I leave the stall.

  9. “TSA will not discuss the mission activities of Federal Air Marshals.”

    “Mission activities.” Oh, man I laughed when I read that.

  10. Leave it in the waistband. If you need to conceal the grip, fold the waistband of your underwear over it. Easy.

    • If I’m taking a dump in a stall, and someone is checking out my belt, waistband, shoes, or other, he is a sick MF. I pay no attention except to assure there is no hand sneaking toward my gun.

  11. Guys, if he had a funny feeling in his guts that caused the pitstop, imagine the feeling in his guts when he realized there was no Sig on his belt when on the plane. “OH SHIT!” for sure.

  12. In a just world I’d say finders keepers losers weepers, and if you want your gat back I’ll sell it to you at fair market value. That way the agent would actually pay for his own misdeed. Alas, we got what we have here – clam up, refuse to admit what was PROBABLY an honest mistake (it is New Jersey, after all) and give the public trust a big old middle finger.

    The grapes of wrath are growing mighty heavy indeed….mighty heavy.


  13. Put it in between your feet (in the crotch of the pants, not yours). It’s both accessible and hidden. Are they not teaching this anymore?

  14. Indians knew that the best time to ambush somebody was when they were taking a shit. That’s why I always keep my pistol in hand until the job is complete. To this day, I’ve never been ambushed by an Indian.

  15. This FAM involved needs to be reprimanded at least and this needs to go on his record. Probably fired is a better choice as this was just too STUPID and he created a terrible safety situation when he was supposed to be doing the exact opposite. What if someone else had found the gun and taken it rather than reporting it to the TSA ? The organization also needs to use this example for additional training for the FAMs in the future.

  16. This actual happens more than you think. This is not an isolated incident.

    Also Air Marshals are not TSA Agents. Based on the authors logic he should be fire himself for negligent reporting.


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