The Press Herald reported last month that Jetport TSA agents found a loaded Glock handgun in the messenger bag of a Maine man.

The weapon had 12 cartridges loaded in the magazine, along with a spare magazine also containing 12 rounds. And, there was a live round in the chamber. Police were summoned. They conducted an interview, after which they returned the handgun to the unnamed man who locked it in his vehicle. He then was “allowed to catch his flight.”
This was the third such loaded handgun incident at the Jetport in the last six weeks.

TSA states only that a possible fine for a first offense like this is $4100. But unlike someone pulled over for driving recklessly, to my knowledge, the public is not made aware of whether charges were brought, or of the offender’s identity or, as a consequence, if their license to carry a firearm was suspended. I believe that most air travelers and the public at large would like to know what happens specifically to individual gun offenders in airports.

Since 9/11, I’ve been absent minded enough to be required to surrender two miniature Swiss Army knives to the diligent people at TSA. I get it, it’s tiny but it’s a knife. It shouldn’t be readily available on an airplane. But why is confiscation the default penalty for forgetting you have in your pocket a knife with a one inch blade when confiscation is not the default, apparently, for failing to remember you have in your carry-on an armed, semi-automatic handgun with 25 rounds of ammunition?

How do people carrying guns, wittingly or not, even get into the airport? And, what actually happens to them when they’re caught?

Jay Evans
Cape Elizabeth

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