More People Getting Arrested for Carrying Firearms at Airports
Orlando International Airport has seen an influx of travelers who are claiming they simply “forgot” their firearms in their carry-on bags while traveling through the airport. According to TSA reports, more people have been stopped at the Orlando airport than any other airport in Florida for illegally carrying a firearm and being caught at the x-ray scanner.
One of the most recent culprits was 66-year old Ronald Eitel who told TSA agents “It’s mine, I’m sorry, I forgot it was in there.” Regardless of the mistake or if carrying the gun through an airport was unintentional, the action still elicits an arrest. Eitel was booked into Orange County Jail and given a misdemeanor charge for carrying a firearm in a place prohibited by law and was released on $500 bond. Eitel was the 19th person arrested at OIA this year.
Why So Many Arrests?
The good news regarding the arrests is that the persons responsible are not indicative of creating or causing any harm with their firearms. The last five that were arrested at OIA actually carry valid Florida concealed carry permits and make up the over one million Floridians who have them.
Citrus County CCW, as well as the rest of the CCW classes across the state, warns our students that airports are an off-limits location in which to carry a firearm. If you do carry a firearm onto an airport, you are guaranteed to get arrested.
How to Travel with Firearms
Federal regulations indicate that it is illegal for anyone to be armed on a commercial flight except for federal air marshals, pilots who have received TSA training along with a TSA-issued firearm and some law-enforcement officers with prior TSA vetting and approval. Travelers who require the transportation of firearms can do so only if the firearms:
- are unloaded
- are in a locked, hard-sided container
- are checked baggage
All firearms, ammo and firearm parts, are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
Florida Not Alone
Across the country firearms are seized at airports throughout the year. In 2012, 1,525 firearms were seized at airports, 85 percent of which were loaded, and 26 percent of which were loaded and had a cartridge in the chamber. The most commonly seized firearms were 9 mm, .380 caliber and .38 caliber pistols.
The bottom line for CCW holders in Florida or any other state is to be more cautious of what you are packing and to not contribute to this statistic. The federal government charged $1.8 million in fines last year for those arrested with guns. It is an avoidable mistake and one that is particularly unwise for safety, financial and personally embarrassing reasons.