I draw your attention to two articles in the Portland Press Herald of Feb 22.

A headline in the Local & State section, Page B1, was “Another loaded gun found at jetport.” It seems that a Mainer was stopped at the Portland airport security checkpoint trying to board an aircraft with a loaded handgun in his carry-on. This was the fifth loaded gun found by security checkers since November and the second this year.

The other article that caught my attention was a brief on Page B3. There I read that someone was stopped at Rhode Island’s main airport, T.F. Green, with a loaded handgun in a carry-on bag.

Guns have been illegal on planes for years except in checked baggage, unloaded and declared at check-in. So what were the consequences in these two incidents? Well, the person in Rhode Island was arrested and the gun confiscated. The Mainer was detained, questioned and released; the gun was returned.

Why the difference? In each case it was a loaded handgun concealed in a carry-on. Are we just too nice here in Maine? Or do we not care enough about airline safety? I suspect that if the next person caught carrying a loaded gun through security at Portland jetport is arrested and fined, then fewer such incidents will occur in the future.

And by the way, hats off to all those safety personnel who work so hard to keep air travel safe.

Len Freeman


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