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“It’s really hard for me to understand why somebody thinks that if they have a permit to carry, that grants them the ability to carry a firearm on an airplane. It’s a common-sense issue. We’re just trying to keep people safe.” – Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan in Armed for travel: Increasingly, guns are found at airport checkpoints [at]

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    • I certainly don’t want him going into the donut shop with a gun on his hip. When he gets his sugar high, the blood will be flowing in the streets like the old west. No, if I cannot be trusted with a gun on a plane, I certainly do not trust this cop in a donut shop full of patrons who expect not to be shot by some inept, badly trained cop.

  1. Textbook doublespeak.

    It’s commonsense that of course a permit to carry doesnt mean you can carry.

    Doubleplus good that is. Doubleplus.

  2. When he died, my late cousin still had in his possession a Winchester 410 pump shotgun in a canvas case with a Delta “firearms carry-on” tag attached to it. it wasn’t until the skyjackings began in the late 60s and early 70s that banning guns from airliners became popular.

    • Ted Kennedy said it best, “I am not anti-gun; I’m just against citizens having them. I think every politician should be armed!”
      That, after his bodyguard was arrested at the senate building for possession of firearms.

      • As the bumper sticker states: “Ted Kennedy’s car has killed more people than my guns”.

        • A bit off the subject, but since you brought up Ted Kennedy and his car, I want to relate a story I heard on KGO radio, San Jose CA. This is when Iran was holding hostages.

          The radio announcer was interviewing Pete McCloskey, who had just got back from Washington. The announcer asked if he had any good stories from Washington. Pete said, “Well, yes, a good news, bad news story. The good news is that Iran has agreed to exchange the hostages for Jane Fonda! The bad news is that Ted Kennedy is going to drive her to the airport!

  3. He is right to the extent that anyone with a carry permit should know enough about the law to know that such a permit doesn’t allow him to carry on a plane.

    That conceded; it remains an open question as to whether the class of those allowed to carry on a plane ought to be expanded considerably.

    By chance, a fellow student in my NRA Shotgun trainer class was an instructor in the Air Marshal service. I asked him what he thought of civilians carrying on planes. He was ambivalent; he could see enough reasons in favor to substantially offset the reasons against the idea.

    In any case, without an outrageous increase in pearl-clutching, we could advocate an expansion of the permitted class beyond Federal armed officers and State/municipal armed-officers with orders to fly armed. Consider the following:
    – active-duty military officers
    – active-duty State and municipal police officers not bearing orders to fly armed
    – retired military and State/municipal police officers
    – State-licensed security guards (e.g., armored-car drivers, licensed body guards)

    If we can’t trust a general/admiral or lieutenant to fly armed why do we trust them with a ship, army or platoon of servicemen bearing the most powerful weapons known to mankind? If we trust State/municipal police with orders why not trust them without orders?

    By gradually expanding the class of those permitted to fly armed we will certainly solve the problem of highjacking at ZERO cost to the taxpayers. After 10 or 20 years of getting used to the idea that a few of the people sitting next to us are packing the pearl-clutches will relax to the point where a civilian carrying on a plane wouldn’t be such a big issue any more.

    • trust a general/admiral or lieutenant to fly armed why do we trust them with a ship, army or platoon of servicemen bearing the most powerful weapons known to mankind?

      Obviously rhetorical however, the Kenyan sandali does NOT trust, respect, or like any member of US Military. Doubtful if cop or FF either. Other fed gov’t employees he loves. Nothing better.

    • Given that there have been zero hijackings in the U.S. since 9/11, and the certain knowledge that even unarmed passengers will fight back rather than let the plane be used for another suicide attack, I’d say 9/11 more or less solved the problem of hijackings already.

      Note that I don’t credit any of the bullshit security theater that’s been in place since 2001, but more the public’s awareness of the potentially disastrous consequences of just quietly acquiescing to a hijacker’s demands.

      • Except SCOTUS, when they can’t think of any other way to claim that something they politically prefer might actually be covered by something, anything, in the Constitution.

    • I think that the 14A and the prohibition against Congress granting titles of nobility ought to be the major basis upon which we make our pitch to the general public – the uncommitted voter.

      Let’s grant that States grant medical licenses to graduates of medical school; and, barbers’ licenses to graduates of barber school. But the practice of medicine or badgering is not a liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. Keeping and bearing arms IS an enumerated right.

      So, on exactly what basis is it that Congress or States limit the RKBA? Is this basis Constitutional?

      If the right is withheld from children; well, maybe we can understand that.

      If the right is withheld from violent criminals or the insane, maybe we can understand that.

      Government cannot withhold the right from citizens in general and still – in any way – claim to respect the “right”. A limit of arms to government employees alone would be utterly contemptuous of the notion of a “right of the People”.

      Which of “the People” enjoy the “right”? Only the rich? Only the employees of the rich who guard their money? In the Won’t-Issue States, that is the de-facto criteria. And it is precisely THAT – WEALTH – that is what is Constitutionally prohibited. It is a title of nobility or a denial of the equal protection of the law (to say nothing of a denial of the rights and privileges of citizenship).

      Governments will try to hide their constraints on the RKBA under the fig leaf of “training”. But this leaf is easily torn away. There are plenty of citizens well trained-to-arms in the Won’t-Issue States who will not be licensed notwithstanding their demonstrable skills and knowledge. There are thousand of such citizens; perhaps tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands across the nation who would not be permitted in NJ, NY, MD, DC, CA, OR, etc. How is it that “training” is any more than a fig leaf when so many citizens would present their credentials or pass a test but – nevertheless – be refused a license for want of “need”?

      In the preceding paragraph I do NOT intend to concede that either training or demonstrable skill or knowledge is a legitimate prerequisite to exercise a right. A careful re-read will reveal no such concession. The argument of the preceding paragraph is presented EXCLUSIVELY as a proof that “training” is nothing more than a fig leaf to disguise what is – in reality – a title-of-nobility granted only to the rich and their “squires” who guard their property.

      Our objective ought to be to persuade the pubic to recognize Won’t-Issue licensing for what it is – a grant of a privilege that is guaranteed as a right under the 2A. Moreover, the People – in ratifying the 14A – made it perfectly clear that extending this RKBA to the least of its citizens – the illiterate freedmen – was the liberty of arms to extend to all of us regardless of station in life.

      When we can get the general public to view the RKBA in such terms – i.e., the right of ALL the People regardless of station – then voters will have to confront the cognitive dissonance at play.

      – it is no longer acceptable to erect a sign “No Negros Allowed”; vs.
      – it remains acceptable for government to say “No Guns for Negros (Except when in Service to their Betters)”

      Such a dichotomy can not long stand in America; it must fall. Either the poor are armed alike with the rich; or, the “No Negros Allowed” signs may be resurrected. One-or-the-other.

      The liberty of the poor to bear arms MIGHT still come with a training requirement. So be it. Our response then must be that it is the Constitutional duty of Congress to “prescribe the discipline” for the militia. To this we PotG graciously submit. Thereupon, it becomes the duty of the States to “train” according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. Again, we PotG graciously submit. Then, there MUST BE ESTABLISHED the prescribed training in ALL PUBLIC high-schools in EVERY State. All young men; and, most young women must be trained-to-arms to the level adequate to perform their militia duty. And then, the issue of “mandatory training” will be put to rest beneath a cultural monument to the 2A.

  4. Airplanes and New Jersey. Should be common knowledge.

    I think there are lot of people who get carry permits and don’t realize that the firearms laws are mostly set up to trap benevolent law abiding citizens into committing crimes with ridiculously stiff penalties.

    • +1 to this. I’d go so far as to say that the “permitting scheme” was set up just so a “gotcha system” could be put in place.

      I like Ted’s thoughts on this: “The 2nd amendment is my concealed carry permit.”

  5. Is this a quote from Philly police chief or Nick Leghorn? Didn’t Nick say pretty much the same thing in his last aviation related article here?

    • If I was required to be seen in public with a hat that stupid looking… well after years and years of it, who knows, it might turn me into an asshole too.

      • Well, it does look like somebody sat on it. Or he forgets to remove it when his head reverts to its normal operating position. . .

  6. Why do we let people licensed to drive, drive everywhere? Really, we’re just trying to keep people safe. Driving in Philadelphia, especially on the Surekill is about the most dangerous thing anyone can do.

  7. He wants to keep me safe? Is he posting his “highly-trained professional” firearms-bearing officers on the planes to keep me safe? I didn’t think so…

  8. I guess I’m the oddball in that I pretty much agree with the man. I don’t want any handguns or other potentially dangerous weapons on an airplane. If you’re not smart enough or careful enough to follow the rules, I’m not sure you should have a handgun. The suggestion that some people like military officers, policemen, etc. should be allowed to have a gun on an airplane is unreasonable. They could be undercover terrorists that were recruited to hijack or destroy an airplane. Even if they are not terrorists, how do you know how stable they are. Who would have ever suspected the pilot that crashed that airplane intentionally would do what he did?

    • I have no choice really if I want to travel by commercial aircraft, but I would be more accepting of the idea of no handguns on board, if they didn’t do such a piss poor job of keeping weapons off the aircraft in the first place.

    • “…They could be undercover terrorists that were recruited to hijack or destroy an airplane.”

      Yes, they could be. It is equally possible that they are on their way to bring me the winning lotto numbers or a written invitation to Christine Brinkley’s birthday party.

      “… Even if they are not terrorists, how do you know how stable they are. ”

      So it’s OK for them to be armed at the super market, or even walking down the street, but put them on an airplane and suddenly they are a danger to you and yours?

      • Chip, are you off your meds or are you normally this out of touch? Potential terrorists compared to Christy Brinkley or lottery tickets?

        Carrying on the street or carrying in an airplane is comparable? Hundreds of potential targets with the passengers on the plane with no escape compared to a few people on the street with possible escape routes and the possibility of concealed carriers or police nearby?

        • Doesn’t change the mechanics of the situation.

          You can trust me with a firearm or you don’t. What makes an airplane so magical that suddenly I can’t be trusted with a firearm?

          And before you answer…. think long and hard about firearms and trust. If you are worried that someone is going to ‘go ballistic’ on an aircraft because of the 150 or so targets available why wouldn’t they ‘go ballistic’ in the airport terminal where you would have hundreds more targets available? A plan has 150 people, a security check point as that many and more….

          You are falling in to the trap the Anti-Gunners have set and you don’t even see it! You MIGHT suddenly turn into a bad guy so we have to limit you before you do something bad. You are promoting the Pre-Crime idea of limiting someone because of their potential to do harm, not because the actually caused any harm.

          • It’s nothing to do with “going ballistic” on an airplane. It’s to do with criminals and terrorists looking to make a name for their movement. A few deaths in an airport terminal wouldn’t do it for them.

        • “… It’s to do with criminals and terrorists looking to make a name for their movement. A few deaths in an airport terminal wouldn’t do it for them.”

          I am neither criminal nor terrorist so why do I have to disarm?

          Let me ask you the question with a different frame of reference…… Gun-Free-Zones. If having a theater be a gun free zone is just inviting the bad guys to shoot it up and that makes Gun Free Zones bad, why would you be suggesting that this place over here should be a gun-free-zone become a good thing? Why would it be bad over there but good over here?

          You walked into the trap, are standing there trapped, and are trying to defend your trapped position. You are *giving* this one to the Anti-Gunners…. you expect us to prove our innocence before we exercise our rights, prove we don’t have ill intent before we get on that plane. Someone did bad things on an airplane a while back so we have to limit everyone else so that there aren’t bad things done on an airplane. Why would a criminal or terrorist comply with the laws everywhere else but not on an airplane? Why would someone who is law abiding everywhere else suddenly be a risk on an airplane?

  9. Nick Leghorn thinks police are the “only ones” who should be armed on planes. Me, if there were an airline that let me fly armed and the feds got their snouts out of the security theater business, I’d fly it every time. My dad is an armed pilot. You wouldn’t believe the slovenly pigs the .gov allows to fly armed. It’s all security theater/slave training folks.

    • The pilots aren’t the pigs. The pigs have to tell the captain of the airplane they are armed.

    • Careful, comments critical of TTAG authors get deleted PDQ, whether the criticism is warranted or not. Nick does some good work around here, but he is way off when it comes to guns and aviation. I’d feel (and be) much safer if the TSA didn’t exist, but if I was able to carry a firearm on board legally. But judging from Nick’s previous articles, he pretty much echoes what the police chief above is saying. I guess it’s OK to criticize and condemn the police chief, but not a TTAG writer, even though they’ve expressed a point of view that’s very similar.

  10. Yeah, common sense. it’s not like anyone was ever taken hostage on an airplane. Next thing you’ll be telling me that someone will take over a plane and crash it into a high profile building.

    I do think if one were to allow carry rights to extend to public planes, that it be a requirement that the gun be carried empty chamber, just in case. Wouldn’t really mind if there was a special class you had to take to ensure you were squared away regarding firearms use on a plane, if it ever came to that. Just to weed out the idiots.

    • Another “common sense” argument.

      Airplanes as a “GFZ” are probably the last cultural hurdle to overcome. We PotG can approach plane carry tactically or foolishly. Our choice. (Most of us choose foolish counter-productive arguments.)

      The public is clued-in to how vulnerable they are to highjacking. We have their attention.

      The public can be reminded that the number of sky marshals is negligible. A jijadi is more apt to suffer from food poisoning on an plane than to encounter a shy marshal with a dim view of his plans.

      The public can be informed that there are a few other people flying armed. The occasional:
      – federal agent who enjoys a general privilege of flying armed whether he needs to be armed or not;
      – State/municipal LEOs who enjoy a specific privilege of flying armed when under specific orders to do so for cause.

      The fissure is there for us to exploit. If Federal, State and municipal LEOs – NOT trained as sky marshals – can fly armed then why are these 2 classes the “Only-Ones”? Why not State/municipal LEOs not under specific orders? Why not military officers? Why not retired LEOs?

      The general public will have a hard time drawing the line where it stands today. Some will admit of State/municipal LEOs not under orders. Some military officers. Some retired. Once the discussion gets going the whole question of who should be permitted/prohibited begins to melt. That is where we need to move the discussion.

  11. I like the idea of giving 10% of the passengers a gun, and 10% of the passengers a magazine, all by random selection. Check ’em out when you board, check ’em back in when you deplane.

    Nobody has a loaded gun without at least two passengers agreeing it’s necessary.

    • “…all by random selection.”

      A little compartment in the seat back in front of you, or maybe under the seat. Have a crew go through once a day and move all the bits around to different compartments so that they aren’t all in the same place.

  12. Yup same thing the Priests said during the Inquisition, I want too save you!
    Sounds the Same today except it is the Anti -American and Seditious Democratic party with a few Rino’s, Led by the man Hating twisted Ladies of California, New York! and twisted brothers in Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and other bastions of the Twisted saying I want to save you for your own Good
    Since the Supreme court gave the twisted ones absolution they now want to take toys away, and the ones wanting to save you will Kill you to prove it!

  13. I agree with him. It is common sense that if I can manage to control myself in my day to day carry, then I can keep from going nuts just because I step on a plane. Or is air travel getting so bad that normally stable people are losing their cool on a regular basis?

  14. Ok and what point are we making here? Yeah most of us want to carry a gun on a plane. This is law whether we like it or not. So have your shite together…

  15. There are people (at least one in every CHL class) who believe or at least joke that a license to carry is a license to kill, a la James Bond. They harbor an elitism that the rules are being bent for them. After all, they being allowed to carry legally, when others are not.

    Factor in further that there are many, many people who believe that Castle Doctrine and/or Stand Your Ground laws actually alter the underlying elements justifying the use of deadly force. You hear people claim that such laws render open season on everyone, or permit a blanket shoot first, ask questions later standard. All of which is bogus.

    Nevertheless, taken together, it doesn’t surprise me that some idiots think they are allowed to carry aboard commercial aircraft.

  16. Philly, the same city whose airport officials tried to claim I was trying to smuggle my firearm into checked baggage, even though a TSA agent and airplane representative knew I declared it with the declaration slip inside the case?

    Go F yourself Philly.

  17. Lawful people carry. Why worry? Ever hear of the US Constitution? I guess not.

    Consider this; OR just announced it will allow marijuana on in-state flights. Now, the FAA oversees all flights, a Federal administration, where marijuana is still illegal. So we are allowing the transport of drugs on Federally overseen airlines but do not allow the Constitutional Right to carry a firearm?

    What part of my brain is missing because I am becoming increasingly confused.

  18. “just trying to keep people safe”. Except that you have no duty and no liability to keep anyone safe. Instead, what you are really trying to do is enforece the law, rightly or wrongly.

  19. Just think, if the Planes crew that were crashed on 9/11 had been armed or if some passengers had been armed, we might still have them planes today. If law enforcement didn’t think so, why do they have armed Air Marshall’s on certain flights, if not all flights? Just look at what happens in a gun free zone’s. Airplanes are a gun free zone. Schools, Churches, Theaters and Government Buildings, and look at what happened at some of them.

  20. Funny you never see paramedics on the news telling people they shouldn’t do CPR and they should leave it to the “professionals.”

    Then again, paramedics don’t strut around wearing headgear that makes them look like the Supreme Executive Commandant of Meter Maids,

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