How Do You Forget You Brought Your Gun to the Airport?

By | December 13, 2011

A seventy-six year old man apparently‘forgot’ that he had a loaded .38 caliber handgun strapped to his ankle when he went through security at Detroit‘s Metro Airport.

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The man, not identified, claimed he wears the firearm for personal protection and it merely ‘slipped his mind’.

The TSA claims that they detect about 4-5 firearms per day at airport security checkpoints, and as many as 1100 a year. An airport police representative claimed that this demonstrated that the elderly must be screened.

The man was not alone in being forgetful, however. On Sunday morning,a  gun was accidentally fired by an Atlanta police officer at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. TSA screeners had reported the gun’s presence to the police and the gun’s owner was telling the officer how to clear the loaded .22 magnum when it went off.

The gun’s owner claimed he didn’t realize the gun was still in his bag and said he originally intended to pack the bag in his checked luggage, but he removed it because he was concerned about the weight limit for his checked bag. He was subsequently arrested.

With 1100 guns found at checkpoints each year, this is apparently a common occurrence. It is not exactly a new story, although this chapter of it is. But what accounts for it? We’re not quite sure. None of us carry concealed weapons and thus cannot put ourselves in the mind of one carrying one. Are they so used to it they forget that they have it? One would hope that people who get such licenses act responsibly, and that after incidents like this, their ability to have such permits is in question.