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Mark Benedetto’s the president of the University of Sioux Falls. As such, you’d expect him to have an alphabet soup of letters after his name to signify all the impressive advanced degrees and certifications he’s attained. Apparently one eensy weensy gap in his eduction, however, is the fact that New York doesn’t take kindly to handguns. He acquired that knowledge the hard way last September when he was arrested while trying to check a gun at LaGuardia. Now Mark’s suing Delta Airlines because when it comes to gun laws, as Professor Kingsfield would tell him, he has a skull full of mush . . . has the story:

Benedetto and his wife, Gail, flew to La Guardia Airport on Sept. 28 for a trip that involved picking up a piece of 9-11 memorabilia for a display at USF.

Benedetto declared that he had an unloaded handgun in a locked case inside his checked luggage, as required by the Transportation Security Administration and Delta Airlines policy.

Benedetto has a concealed carry permit for South Dakota but was unaware that it is illegal to possess a firearm in New York unless the gun owner is a New York resident with a state and local concealed carry permit.

Granted, it’s not easy to keep track of all the local gun laws around the country. But you have to lead a pretty sheltered life – or spend a lot of time in an academic ivory tower – to be unaware of New York’s antipathy to civilian heaters. And we’re willing to bet that as the president of a university, Dr. Benedetto has fairly regular access to the Internet which can be really handy in checking these things before you travel.

The good doctor managed to make it to the city that never sleeps just fine and evidently packed heat while he was there without incident. But all good things must come to an end and it was time to go home.

When he declared the firearm to the Delta ticket agent at La Guardia on Oct. 2, however, the declaration caught the attention of the airline.

“Without warning or explanation, the Delta ticket agent proceeded to notify the New York-New Jersey Port Authority Police via telephone that he had a passenger who had declared a firearm,” the lawsuit says.

He was arrested and spent a night in a Queens jail “under what the lawsuit calls ‘horrendous conditions.'” Imagine that. A New York jail that was less than immaculate.

The lawsuit charges Delta with negligence, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing and asks for compensatory and punitive damages of an unspecified amount.

The entire incident was a slap in the face, Benedetto said, given that he felt he’d done what he was expected to do before his departing and returning flights.

You didn’t do quite everything you were expected to do, Doc. Sure, dropping a dime on a customer seems like bad form on the part of the airline, but it’s not their responsibility to inform their flyers of the gun laws wherever they may roam in the not-so-friendly skies. Ask Mark Meckler about how important it is to know the gun laws when you travel. He at least had the good sense not to clog up the court system with a frivolous suit, trying to pin the blame on someone else for his ignorance.

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  1. Why doesn’t he sue New York City and the Port Authority? (Good luck winning that war!) The Delta agent was only doing what the law required him to do.

    The Second Amendment Foundation needs a good court case to use to strike down NYCs CCW laws. This could be the one. It could go all the way to the SCOTUS!

    • Why was the desk clerk at Delta “supposed” to notify the local authorities? Federal law allows such transport, nor am I aware of any law that requires anyone to report criminal activity. Yes, I know that the clerks do this, at least in NY, but not anywhere else that I’ve heard, probably because it isn’t a violation of law anywhere but NYC. And they don’t do it in Chicago, as far as I know, where it is illegal to possess a firearm without a FOID–which pretty much anyone who doesn’t reside in Illinois doesn’t have. So what makes it OK for Delta to snitch on its own customers in, but only in, NYC?

    • The Delta agent was only doing what the law required him to do.

      Ah yes, the “only following orders” excuse. If only we could rewind 70 years and go back to executing bastards who violate people’s rights and then hide behind that excuse.

        • It seemed to work pretty well by the number of Nazis we freed and paid to come here and advance our science with the data they collected through unconscionable acts.

  2. “for a trip that involved picking up a piece of 9-11 memorabilia for a display at USF”

    They couldn’t just mail it to him? Is this another one of those ‘trips’ the organization pays off for absurd reasons (picking up a rock) so someone can go to the opera and visit family? Then modern academia whines about needing more tax money to teach college students how to use sex toys and get credit hours…

  3. I’m glad he’s suing the airline, even though he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Snitches get stitches, so screw you, Delta.

    • Pu pu pu plus one! Anything he gets, I’ll count as retribution for the time my flight was rerouted and they tried to stuff me in a taxi with 4 other people from Harrisburg to Philly. Suck it Delta!

      • The airlines are just like the weathermen. They can do say and do whatever they want and still get paid. I suppose I could always drive, and I’ve done it cross country a few times to avoid flying. On my last trip my flight back was “delayed” more than five hours, effectively ruining my entire day and night. The customer service told me it was because of weather and when my wife called they told her it was because of maintenance. Liars. At what point does a flight become cancelled, and not delayed?? It must be after 24 hours, when the next loop of that route leaves without the prior one commencing.

        So they advertised a product for a price. I contracted for their service at their price, not a sale or a bargain, or any haggling. Their service at their price. Then they did not provide it. Furthermore when they were boarding they asked passengers to “help them out” by checking carry ons to make more space in the cabin. Are you frickin kidding me?? They reneg on their contract, ruin my trip, then want my help so they can do their job??

        To add insult to injury the woman next to me had attempted to change her later flight to an earlier one. The booking agent rescheduled her from a 10:30 flight to an 8:45 flight (my new time from 3:10 previously). The woman had been unaware that there was an 8:45 time. “Oh yeah”, the agent says. “We have a rescheduled flight.” So they are still booking people on this flight, well past it’s original departure, while all the paid passengers sweat it out at the airport. When they decide it’s time to leave they want passengers to check small carry ons because the cabin is too full. Simply amazing.

        It’s no surprise the agent called the cops on a passenger. I’m actually surprised he didn’t spit on him too.

        As far as traveling by airline or any other means to any of the gun grabbing states in this union, you get what you deserve for even going there. The only reason I live in CA is to be near my grown kids that live and work here, but it absolutely sux, gun wise and otherwise. I’d be in TX, FL or another option if I had my way.

  4. The agent at his departure is not his nanny. They are not there to check up on whether or not he is legally allowed to possess a firearm at his destination. He is responsible for knowing the laws of the locale he is traveling to.

    I am sure if the NY cops had checked him out and found him to have some sort of legal authorization to have a firearm in NY they would have sent him on his way.

  5. Yes, the NY laws are stupid. Yes, there is conflict here with Federal regulations allowing the transport of weapons. Yes, this ought to all change. And yet I have a hard time feeling bad for this guy. He’s suing the wrong people as far as I can tell, and only a fool carries without knowing the law in the pertinent jurisdictions. It only takes a second to Google local laws on carrying.

    • Totally agree. I’m a city resident and hate the stupid laws in this burg but being a responsible gun owner means exactly that. BTW, I don’t think the federal law applies here, since you have to be able to legally possess the firearm at the start and end of your trip. He might have a case if, for example, he legally possessed the gun in New Jersey and was flying to his home state out of Kennedy airport.

      But hey, let’s get a Heller challenge going!

  6. Apparently one eensy weensy gap in his eduction, however,

    Come on! Everyone with an eduction knows it’s spelled “eency weency”

  7. Why is this posted as an excoriation of this man? Why are we, the gun community, not united in solidarity behind someone who has been thrown in a cage for exercising his natural, inherent rights? So what if he didn’t investigate or understand “the law”? Why should liberty loving patriots be expected to not only familiarize themselves with “laws” that violate their rights, but to also follow those immoral and unconstitutionally “laws”?

    Sometimes, I can’t tell whose side you guys are on.

    • I just finished a road trip from Virginia to Colorado. I made sure that I was familiar with ever states’ gun laws that I traveled through. I knew where I had to lock up the gun, where I could conceal and where I had to open carry. Every responsible gun owner does this when he/she travels.

      Unlike you, I don’t have the time and money to challenge each states’ law that interferes with my right to carry. Perhaps you would like to take up the challenge. I will even contribute $10 to your legal defense fund so you can do this for all of us.

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