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Holy Moses, will the media please give this one a rest? According the TSA (Toss the Second Amendment), a steady perhaps even daily stream of Americans accidentally or ignorantly attempts to board an airplane with some form of deadly weapon: a gun, knife, flare gun, sword cane, box cutter, nail scissor or a copy of a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel. Two days before Christmas, the TSA blog reported that the extraneous federal agency confiscated some 26 firearms in one week. That’s more than three a day people. Since then, however, the blog’s gone quiet. I wonder why that is? Actually I have a pretty good idea . . .

Perhaps the TSA wants the media to think that Americans attempting to fly with guns and knives and such is a rare occurrence, so they can get media and thus voter props by SLOWLY feeding the beast. I mean, if “smuggled” weapons are routine, that doesn’t make the TSA look quiete as good as the whole “we found a tactical needle in a haystack” meme.

For example, here’s a story on that made it into the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and newspaper and television reports throughout up-state New York. As the gentleman involved doesn’t appear to be more of a terrorist than, say, former U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke, is it really such a big deal?

A Riverton businessman has been charged with a class three felony in Big Flats, New York after attempting to board a commerical airline flight with a loaded gun [.38 caliber revolver] and two hunting knives [9″ hunting knife and a “utility” knife] in his carry on luggage.The charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree was lodged against Mike Rinehart, 53, owner of Diamond T Welding of Riverton and Boulder, Wyo. and Mansfield, Penn [above]. He is also a former publisher of The Advertiser and Wind River Voices newspapers here . . .

Rinehart is being charged under New York Penal Code 265.03 03. In New York, a person appears for an initial hearing, and the case is then turned over to a Grand Jury. If an indictment is made, the person charged would then have a preliminary hearing on the charge.

Just to be clear, Rinehart is in deep s4it.

Ask any New York criminal defense lawyer from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Queens or Westchester County. There are few charges less forgiving and more aggressively enforced than Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 265.03 (CPW 2). This crime is ruthless in its application and the potential impact is devastating. The law is very clear. If you are convicted of this offense there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 year in prison and a maximum term of 15 years in prison. What compounds this matter is that this sentence is applicable for those with no previous record.

The penalty is no joke but the TSA is: a bloated federal agency that specializes in security theater and nearasdammit sexual molestation. It’s Uncle Sam at its most bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive.

While you’ve got to be pretty dumb to carry weapons onto a flight, you’ve got to be even dumberer to throw the book at people who did so by accident. [Heads-up: intent matters.]

As presidential candidate Ron Paul asserts, law-abiding Americans should be able to carry concealed gun on airplanes. And whether they can or not, they certainly deserve to be treated with respect and discretion by the federal employee paid by the public to protect the public.

[FYI click here for the FAA (F Armed Americans) rules on flying with firearms. h/t to Jess Hinkle for the link.]

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  1. The other day you posted an article about increased hits on your site. Amoung the gun community you will find many Christians. I enjoy many aspects of your site, throwing reference to Jesus, and over using OMG to the point of adolesence are not amoung them. One aspect of success in the volume of your readers is to honor those same people by not offending them. Nothing wrong with being cute, but it might come with a price, losing some of those readers you seem to appreciate

  2. I’ll take out taking the Lord’s [son’s] name in vain. But the OMG is used ironically; the kid stays in the picture. BTW: no offense intended. Although I’m a member of the Tribes, I respect Jesus. Nice Jewish boy. Went into his father’s business. Props.

  3. Thank You for your thoughtful response. My comment on the use of OMG was as much for over use as insult. Using the name of Jesus was too much, so I had to say something. Us gun guys have enough enemies out there, need to stick together as much as possible.

  4. While I’m not a big fan of the TSA, I have minimal sympathy for someone who “forgot”. Either you’re a complete moron, or- no, that’s it. The concept of firearms being carried on airplanes hasn’t changed since pre-TSA. “Toss the Second Amendment”? Clever, not really. Those regulations were in place long before the TSA. Misguided anger.

    • Some points to keep in mind.

      1. Most people are not as over-educated as TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. I say that from a place of love. And the Second Amendment does not have an intelligence test
      2. Many people fly only a handful times in their life.
      3. Senior moments happen, especially when you’re stressed (see: above) or rushed
      4. The TSA didn’t invent federal disregard for Americans’ 2A protection, but they’re survival depends on it

      • 1) Not the fault of you, I, or the TSA. Personal responsibility.
        2) See 1.
        3) See 1.
        4) If the fed’s don’t do it, the airlines will. It’d better serve the viewers of TTAG to focus on issues like the ATF’s F&F , and day to day gun issues. The banning of weapons on aircraft isn’t new, and to reverse it all right now would be suicide for already hurting airlines. Unless you want them bailed out again.

        I truly appreciate what you guys do, it’s just the constant rambling about the TSA really looks like desperate ways to bitch about the federal government. We get it. They suck.

        • the constant rambling about the TSA really looks like desperate ways to bitch about the federal government. We get it. They suck.

          Two things about that. First, it’s not good enough to say they suck once and move on. Keep saying they suck until things change. Second, although these stories are preaching to the choir in this venue, and yes, the overblown rhetoric (to contrast with the factual statements) does get old, this story (or others like it) might get forwarded to someone who doesn’t already know that they suck, or to what degree they do so. And if we don’t tell them, who will?

        • Which is why I also included my opinion of why the goal of the preaching sucks too. Disband the TSA. 1) Allow guns on aircraft, watch us have to bail out the airlines again. Or 2) have some private company/new agency do the exact same thing.If it’s something that’s helpful or will actually do something, preach away. I even asked that more effort be put into the F&F issues.

          Edit to add: Sad as it is, the friends of 2A needs to pick and choose it’s battles, and there’s some fish to fry and people to educate first.

  5. “Holy Moses, will the media please give this one a rest?”

    Maybe when you give IGOTD a rest? Oh wait, maybe this whole story belongs under the IGOTD caption? Perhaps when people get the concept, no guns or knives allowed, there will be nothing to bellyache about.

    (BTW, IGOTD is a favorite of mine.)

  6. Is it true that a bullet going through an aircraft’s wall, skin, etc creating a hole from the inside to the outside can de-pressurize an aircraft’s interior? How would that affect the aircraft’s flying ability? What would happen on a consumer flight on an aircraft filled with passengers if someone had a gun that (accidentally or intentionally) fired creating such a hole? How dangerous is it to the safety of the flight?

    • “Is it true that a bullet going through an aircraft’s wall, skin, etc creating a hole from the inside to the outside can de-pressurize an aircraft’s interior?”
      Yes, but not as rapidly as some people have been led to believe. You’re talking about a huge amount of air moving through a relatively small hole. You’re not going to get the kind of rapid decompression most people are worried about.

      “How would that affect the aircraft’s flying ability? What would happen on a consumer flight on an aircraft filled with passengers if someone had a gun that (accidentally or intentionally) fired creating such a hole? How dangerous is it to the safety of the flight?”
      Since the decompression will not be rapid, the pilot will have more than enough time to decend to a safe altitude. Your ears are going to pop, that’s a given. And yes, you’ll probably be inconvenienced by having to make an unscheduled landing at an airport that is not your intended destination. Other than that, it’s a relatively minor problem.

    • Airplanes have a door at the rear which adjusts to keep the pressure at teh right level. It can be several square inches across. If a 9 mm hole is created in the skin the door compensates for it by closing a little. It would whistle like hell but not suck anybody out through the opening.
      90% of people don’t know this so watch this myth repeat over and over again.

  7. If this fellow is just another ignorant dummy that didn’t know it was against the law to carry a gun on an airplane I suppose I have some sympathy for him, but Really…WTF do you think you are doing carrying a loaded gun and a big-ole hunting knife onto an airplane in this day and age? Have you been living under a rock?

    Nobody…not Pilots, Crew, passengers or Police should have loaded guns on airplanes. The pilot, crew and Air Marshals should have other weapons like tazers, pepper spray etc.

    Check your heater and your blade in your luggage and stop being stupid.

    Sure the TSA does lots of dumb things (groping kids and old folks for instance). But this case doesn’t seem to be one of those dumb things. This looks to me like a clear cut case of an idiot doing a Really Stupid Thing and paying the price for doing it.

    • Agreed about the negligence, and the TSA people doing as their supposed to do.

      As for carrying on board, the argument is that no one can ever be guaranteed safe, and that’s true anywhere. The idea that every flight will be sterile 100% of the time is nuts. We’ve already heard a couple cases this year of people traveling with firearms. It is what it is, and why I’m really on the fence with aviation stuff.

      And why I drive to Florida every year.

  8. So are we for “Gun-Free Zones” or against them? I guess “no guns on planes” is just another “reasonable restriction” that we should conceed to the anti’s. If so, why not have “No Guns” in schools, at college, in government buildings, in bars, in public, in your home… how about “No Guns” at all?

    Can we please have some consistency, people?

    We’ve given ground on our rights for so long that we’ve forgotten what it means to be free!

    • Because the legal carrying of firearms in schools/colleges/etc/etc/etc would most likely prevent a mass causality, versus causing one. There’s a difference in collateral.

      There’s limitations, and some I’m okay with.

      • “…most likely prevent a mass causality, versus causing one.”

        Your logic is flawed and inconsistent.

        “There’s limitations, and some I’m okay with.”

        Then, I pray your chains rest lightly upon you.

        • The first wasn’t meant to be projected as my opinion, I wholeheartedly agree with Moonshine7102 as to what would happen- not much on a physical safety level (support level, that’s a different story).

          The second I stand by, and is what it is. Like I said, I’m on the fence. I stand by the limitation not on a safety level, but on a viewpoint that I don’t feel it’s the right time.

  9. “As the gentleman involved doesn’t appear to be more of a terrorist than, say, former U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke….”
    Or, say, current U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

  10. I’m all for allowing CCW on airplanes but I’ve got no sympathy for this guy. If you still don’t know that guns and knives are banned on planes then maybe prison is the best place for you, at least he will be out of the gene pool for a few years.

    • Are you serious? You honestly think this man deserves prison for hurting no one and harming nothing? Or, is it that he deserves prison for being stupid or forgetful or ignorant or lazy?

      • He broke the law, it’s a dumb law but he still broke it. If you want to argue that victim-less crimes shouldn’t be prosecuted go ahead and good luck with that.

        Stuff like this doesn’t help the RKBA cause, it makes us look bad. If you don’t like the law then start calling your legislators and try to get it changed.

        • Defending someone’s liberty who faces spurious persecution due to an unjust law doesn’t help the RKBA cause?

          You understand that freedom isn’t just about guns, right?

        • I guess I fail to see what is spurious about this law, unjust possibly, but not spurious. I believe that he knew the law and chose to try and get away with this because I find it inconceivable that he wouldn’t know that knives and especially guns aren’t allowed on planes.

          And people like this guy make the RKBA cause look like a bunch of idiots or criminals, take your pick. We need good publicity, not airplane Rambos.

  11. A fool and his guns are soon parted. Does Mr. Diamond T Welder deserve prison? Dunno. I guess it depends on why he tried to carry a gun and two knives on board. Maybe he did have a forehead-slapping “I forgot” moment. Maybe it was something more nefarious.

    New York’s law is insane, that’s true. Nevertheless, this isn’t a situation where a well intention gunowner with a pure heart and an empty head tried to check her gun like she was visiting the Long Branch Saloon in downtown Tombstone. The problem with this case is that I don’t know, none of the other commenters here know, and the DA sure doesn’t know why Rinehart tried to bring a gun and two knives on a plane.

  12. To Ralph’s comment – Rinehart isn’t being arrested or charged for trying to take a gun and two knives onto a commercial plane. It’s for having a gun in his possession without a NY license, yes? If an NYPD had done a “stop and frisk” on him before he got into the airport, he’d be facing the same charges, regardless of his intended destination. I think I’d be happier if the reason he was facing charges was for having the items in his carry-on (instead of putting them in checked baggage as can be done legally) instead of for violating New York’s ridiculous law. Still, a demonstrated failure of the thought process.

  13. As a pilot, I don’t understand the reason why we can’t have firearms and knives on planes. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the fuzzie-wuzzies, at various points, made legal-to-carry-knives on planes smaller and smaller until they disappeared completely, then they took guns out of the picture as well. The reasoning behind taking them away seems trite:1) Planes don’t disintegrate when they have a hole in them, it affects flight characteristics, aka drag based on the size of the hole and it’s shape. For example, we don’t commonly fly US planes to New Zealand because they have insane flight restrictions on the quality of aircraft that land at their airports, which generally require our planes to have a complete overhaul, both the engines and the airframe.2) At the altitude commercial aircraft fly oxygen is required to not pass out and/or die… and in case of emergencies oxygen is provided for all passengers (sound familiar). The planes are kept over pressurized because they leak, yes sir they do. So if a new hole appears there is more than enough oxygen to keep everyone happy until they land, grab a FAR/AIM to see how over-regulated the aviation industry is.3) Everyone is so close together that firing a sidearm could hit an innocent person. I’m sorry if I sound callous, but if someone(s) intending to do wrong on that plane has a weapon and no one on the plane has suitable opposition to the task (aka a gun or knife) then everyone is in trouble. I’ve heard people argue that the Air Marshall will save the day. I’m calling BS, because if someone is going to take a plane, how much harder would it be to ID the only armed guy/gal on the plane.Maybe I’m paranoid, but I don’t think allowing the public to be armed in flight has any downsides. I think aviation disarmament is a step towards disarming the common neighborhood, because guns are scary and could hurt someone. Gun education, in general, seems to be lacking in society. I could go on a rant about how urbanization is the cause of the problem, making both guns and animals, but this isn’t the crowd that needs to hear it.I don’t see good things happening with the TSA, and the gun control crowd becoming so rampant. I went through three TSA checkpoints on the freeway when my wife and I went to visit family during Christmas and I don’t think it’s going to be long before they start taking away our firearms on federal roads. This whole push for our nation to become a police state doesn’t bode well for our personal freedoms, and that worries me. I hope with the coming election that something will be done to strengthen our individual rights, including the 2nd Amendment.

    • Even though I think stray bullets at 35,000 feet may not do good things for the tender parts of the aircraft and the cattle car crowd; I would say that if terrorists gain control of the plane, you are going to be screwed anyways. If they contol the aircraft, they will crash it into something. If they are in control for any period of time, the air force will probably blow the plane out of the sky.

      • I’d rather have a chance to defend myself, I’m betting most will agree. Sure they might crash the airplane but if my armed resistance means we crash into a field instead of a skyscraper or a five sided building then that’s a death to be proud of.

        • And if you think the air force is gonna down a jumbo jet packed full of innocents then you’re as high as a kite. No president is going to order that jet shot down unless the terrorists are pointing it at an orphanage full of nuns and babies.

        • They will claim the terrorists blew it up. Or some such thing. Remember: the U.S. shot down a plane-load of Iranians without much blowback. After 911, after passengers “crashed’ their own plane. So yes they would. The feds would shoot down a plane.

        • I think you are stretching a point to say the U.S. shot down Iran Air 655. The USS Vincennes and it’s captain did that deed while being attacked by 8 Iranian gun boats and in the course of that attack, misidentified the Airbus as an Iranian F-14.

          During the 9-11 attacks, 2 F-16’s were enroute to shoot down the 757 that would hit the pentagon but they were too far away.

        • Two unarmed F-16’s were on their way to try and ram the plane down. I still don’t think they would shoot a jet full of Americans down unless it was a direct and immediate threat to the POTUS.


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