Oklahoma Man A Cautionary Tale For Holiday Season

The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times in the country. While COVID-19 concerns will likely limit at least some of that travel, a lot of people will still be hopping onto planes to venture…well, wherever people go during the holiday seasons when they’re not at home.

For people who carry guns, it’s a good reminder of what not to do when you travel.

Television station KCCI reports the incident happened Nov. 24 at the Des Moines International Airport. Transportation Security Administration agents say a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets, plus an additional 13 bullets, were found in the man’s carry-on bag at a security checkpoint. Des Moines police were called to the airport, and officers confiscated the gun and cited the man on suspicion of a weapons charge.

The Oklahoma man probably didn’t need that kind of a headache. Unfortunately, here we are.

Look, if you want to travel with your firearm, that’s fine. Either drive or follow the TSA’s guidelines for flying with a firearm.

“But I don’t like the TSA’s guidelines.”

Well, I don’t particularly like them either. However, you know what I like even less? Losing my gun and wearing handcuffs.

See, trying to board a flight with a handgun in your carry-on bag is a crime. While criminal charges aren’t always filed in such a case, they can be. And this isn’t the equivalent of an open container charge here. This is a felony.

That’s right, failure to follow the rules could land you in deep enough hot water that you’ll lose your gun rights.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather follow the guidelines than face losing my right to keep and bear arms. While there are some who believe the time for non-violent felons being unable to own guns is coming to an end, this will likely not be covered by any changes. This is a weapons charge, something very akin to a violent felony, so don’t get cocky about this.

If you’re taking to the skies this year, you have a few options. Either leave the gun at home, borrow a firearm from a friend or relative when you get there, or transport it according to the TSA’s guidelines.

Or, conversely, you can drive. This is generally my preferred method of transportation whenever practical because I don’t like congested airports and I’m kind of partial to not falling out of the sky in a fiery ball of death. While most airplanes don’t do that, I don’t like pressing my luck.

But mostly it’s because I can transport my gun much more easily.

Mostly.

Anyway, please keep your heads this holiday season and don’t leave guns in bags that aren’t being checked. Each one of these stories makes it that much more difficult when we talk about how the majority of gun owners are law-abiding, responsible citizens. While these represent an extremely small minority of gun owners, these are the stories that get the ink.

So do yourself and everyone else a favor and don’t be one of them this holiday season.

Jul 31, 2021 8:30 AM ET