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‘Steelers cornerback not arrested for gun at airport.’ That’s the title of a Pro Football Talk post revealing that Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Senquez Golson was allowed to skate when TSA discovered a pistol and 23 rounds of ammo in his carry-on in an Alabama airport. As post titles go, that’s right up there with Hillary Clinton Still Isn’t President of the United States or Michael Bloomberg Continues to Pay Shannon Watts’ Salary.

But Mr. Golson had the good fortune of being nabbed deep in the heart of football-friendly ‘Bama. Not only was he not arrested, but the local “police in Mobile offered to keep the gun and let him retrieve it when he returned to Alabama.” Wasn’t that kind of them? Don’t tell us there’s no such thing as southern hospitality.

Louis Murphy’s probably wondering what he did wrong. Would you or I have received such accommodating treatment if we’d similarly screwed the pooch and tried to board a plane while packing in Mobile? Don’t bet on it. I’d sooner buy a plane ticket on a full United flight than bet my freedom on the good graces and forbearance of the TSA and local constabulary. Be careful out there.


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  1. Texas law allows license holders who forget they’re carrying to depart the security line once discovered and go secure their firearm someplace before returning. I don’t know what the law is in Alabama or if this traveler has a license. Ours is a recently enacted law, so it may not be common among other states.

    Flying with firearms, under the current Kafkaesque crazy quilt of firearms laws out there, is inherently risky and not advised.

    • Flying with firearms, under the current Kafkaesque crazy quilt of firearms laws out there, is inherently risky and not advised.

      For readers who are unaware, that is intentional.

  2. The TSA is federal but the police (who would arrest) are local. There are plenty of places where such breaks are given to “little people” all the time.

    But your average traveler isn’t going to know which places those are.

  3. “I’d sooner buy a plane ticket on a full United flight than bet my freedom on the good graces and forbearance of the TSA and local constabulary.”

    If you want a sure bet, bet that they don’t even know they’re own damn rules.

    SparkNotes version of something I’ve said here before:

    Back in the day when TSA was new I was traveling with the bolt for an SKS in my carry on because the rifle was in a cheapo case with ammo. I had removed the bolt for extra safety’s sake and had no other luggage.

    TSA didn’t know WTF to do about this. Eventually they let me go, but not after pulling out a rule book, calling in supervisors etc. all to try to figure out if they could let me go or if they were required to charge me with a federal crime.

    Again, TSA doesn’t know their own rules. Don’t screw with them. Those $12/hour monkeys that paw through your gear might just ruin your life and no one will know if it’s legit or not because no one really knows what the rules are.

    • “Why hell, son, we can’t let you board with that thing! Why, you might put someone’s eye out with it!”

        • There’s no firing pin spring in a SKS, so when you buy one, this really should be done.
          I’ve seen a UD because someone never cleaned the bolt assembly properly. Luckily, safety rules were observed, so the round went downrange (OK, the BULLET went downrange).
          There are several videos on Youtube about first shots on a “new” SKS, where the gun fires on releasing the bolt. It happens.

      • I have half of that written up already.

        I’m going out to my friend’s land next Tuesday to do the live fire test.

        The firing range was cool with it right up until they weren’t cool with it. Something about “safety and liability”. The RSO knows me and he was fine with it, the owner… not so much. She’s a nice lady but she doesn’t want to “set an example” and have people doing all sorts of weird experiments at her joint (honestly I also think she’s afraid a loaded gun is going to go flying).

        At least out there I won’t have to put painter’s tarps all over the place like I’m about to go American Psycho on someone… but I still get to wear a snazzy rain suit!

  4. I’m not convinced he got special treatment here just because he’s a football player. If it was New Jersey and he got let go then it’d be a pretty open and shut case that he got the famous athlete hookup.

    • Not at an airport. But cops have cut me slack and let me go a couple of times.

      Officers discretion. Works to peoples favor every day, nationwide.

  5. IN very few industries does anyone know or are excepted to know all the rules . You’re are expected to know how to look them up .

  6. TSA still has the ability to come after him with a civil case with some pretty hefty fines attached.

  7. There is no racism in america. Mrs Ted Nugent, rapper Coolio, and now a black football player all don’t go to jail. Even when they all violated TSA gun policy. The issue is not race but class at least in this transportation issue.

  8. TSA once found a .22 mag revolver cylinder with one round in it in my brother’s carry on. I hadn’t left the parking lot yet after dropping him off when he called and asked if I could come to the security gate. I got there and was met by a sheriff’s deputy who handed the cylinder and round to me and that was that, no big deal at all (even for my brother it wasn’t a big deal, they had an FBI agent come over and fill out a little paperwork and he was on his way after a 10-15 min. delay at security). I had the round bouncing around in my armrest until the car got totaled a few years later.

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