LEOs camp out at JFK airport to combat gun trafficking

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

On Tuesday, I wrote about a report that blamed pro-gun states for violent crime in US territories. In it, I mentioned that gun trafficking seems unusually difficult to do by plane. After all, flying with guns is kind of a nightmare as it is, and that’s if you’re trying to do things legally.

Yet it seems law enforcement is ready to combat gun trafficking by hanging out at JFK.

Federal and local officials announced a new partnership Tuesday to combat gun violence.

That’s where representatives of Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security, the DEA and NYPD gathered Tuesday to say they are working together to target the criminals who are bringing them to the streets.

So what gives?

Well, officials claim they seized more than 2,700 shipments last year, which raises some questions.

First, what are they calling “shipments,” anyway? Are these packages that are routing through the airport but aren’t actually associated with someone flying in? If so, that makes some sense. Anyone can box something up and ship it through the USPS or FedEx and it generally won’t get snooped upon unless it triggers an anthrax alarm or something.

And if so, it means a similar means is being used to send guns to Puerto Rico, which means I was mistaken in my earlier post.

However, it could also mean something else.

When people fly, they don’t always fly direct. They may fly into a larger airport, then rent a car to drive the rest of the way to their destination. Sometimes, flying on a smaller airline for the first or last leg of your journey doubles the price of the trip.

I know when I got out of boot camp more years ago than I could count, it was cheaper for me to fly back to Great Lakes from Columbus, GA than my hometown of Albany, GA. Most of the time now, if I can, I just fly out of Atlanta for the same reason.

Others do similar things when they fly, and usually, it’s no big deal.

What I’m curious about is how many of these “gun traffickers” were really people who were transporting a firearm for a lawful purpose, but because they landed in JFK, they were hit as gun traffickers. Yes, safe passage laws are a thing, but we’ve seen how New Jersey interprets those laws, so why would we assume New York wouldn’t get it wrong as well?

Of course, that’s just speculation on my part.

Considering that over 31 million people used JFK in 2019, we should also remember that 2,700 “shipments” aren’t really all that many if you look at it by the percentage of people coming through the airport. In fact, that really doesn’t even look like statistical significance.

But our tax dollars are going to get spent so federal law enforcement can hang out with local police at a busy airport in hopes of catching someone doing something illegal, either intentionally or not.

Our tax dollars at work.

I guess the upside is that they’re not shooting people’s dogs while they’re doing this, so we can count that as a win at least.