Former Miami Airport Employee Sentenced For Stealing Guns From Baggage

(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Traveling with a gun can be extremely problematic unless you simply drive everywhere. Hopping on a plane, for example, requires you to check any firearms in your baggage. Further, you have to declare it when you check your luggage, meaning everyone who handles that bag is going to know there’s a gun in there.

If you’re like me, that makes you less than comfortable about flying with a firearm.

Why? Because it makes it easier for people like this.

A former Southwest Airlines baggage handler was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison after pleading guilty to knowingly possessing or receiving stolen guns.

Federal prosecutors said Mark Hunter of St. Louis was charged after a passenger traveling through St. Louis Lambert International Airport reported that a pistol had been reported stolen from his luggage.

Federal agents investigated and found seven reported thefts of guns from luggage checked on Southwest over a five-month period in 2020.

Honestly, how can anyone be surprised something like this happens?

As I noted, they require you to declare your firearm is in the bag, to begin with. Locks aren’t exactly difficult to get around when you’re talking about luggage, especially when you’ve got a fair bit of time, and since you know which bags to hit, it’s not overly difficult for a would-be criminal to act.

And let’s be honest, I’ve known some of the people who try to get jobs at airports. While most are fine, upstanding people who are simply looking for good work at a good wage, there are also some who you wonder how they’d let them into the secure part of an airport with a ticket, much less pay them to be there.

They might not have a criminal history, but that’s only because they haven’t been caught yet. (In fairness, the exact same thing can be said about some in every line of work out there.)

Nothing about this is surprising, especially since we’ve seen airlines all but installing neon signs to tell the world your bag has a firearm in it.

In a world where that’s going to happen, guns are going to get stolen. People are going to take advantage of any situation they get as it is, but if you make it easier, it’s going to happen far more often.

Now, I get that airlines aren’t going to just start letting people carry guns onto planes. I don’t think it would be a problem but the folks who make the rules do and since they don’t really answer to me, there’s not much hope in hell of that changing.

But that doesn’t mean airlines shouldn’t be very careful about our luggage. If I can’t carry my gun on my person, then the airlines had damn well better keep an eye on their people to make sure something doesn’t get taken, whether it’s a firearm or something else.

Of course, let’s also remember that if they can take something like a gun out of a bag, what all can they slip in one?