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Guns on a Plane

Interesting article in Global Travel Industry News, where they ask people about whether they’d carry a firearm on an aircraft if such a thing were allowed. A surprising number of people responded yes. I would be among the “yes” respondents if asked, and much for the same reason as this person:

For Hawaii-resident Jeff Sumitani, he would carry his gun on a flight not for the reason that one would think. He said: “As with anything, if it’s rare or expensive, I would rather have it with me. [The] same thing with a gun. I [would] rather take care of it on the plane instead of letting the airline handle it without my supervision.”

When I’ve flown with firearms in checked baggage, I’ve always spent more energy worrying about whether the gun was going to get to the destination along with me, than about terrorists on the plane or anything else. Making it legal to carry guns on planes isn’t honestly on my radar, I think we have bigger fish to fry, but the responses were interesting.

17 Responses to “Guns on a Plane”

  1. Jack says:

    That’s also part of the reason for resturant carry and expanding carry to other locations.

    Every time your gun leaves your possesion… that’s why I recommend people look into locked containers for their cars. But you have to be careful, lotta junk out there.

  2. Joe says:

    I share the exact same sentiment. The few times I have flown with one I was more concerned about it not getting lost or “messed with” than I was about being able to defend myself on the plane if something was to happen.

  3. SLC says:

    Fellow blogger The Patriot Nurse did have her handgun stolen while flying earlier this year. According to her the process for reporting it stolen was quite complex and included local law enforcement, the TSA, and the ATF.

  4. Keegan says:

    Frankly, I would support a law that made it legal to carry guns on a plane, but no ammunition. The main reason being, as was stated above, the only reason I would want one would be so that I would rather have it with me than handled by the airline. However, defending yourself on a plane simply doesn’t make sense, since shooting bullets in a plane can result in damage to the aircraft, and a potential danger to everyone on board or on the ground.

    • Patrick H says:

      Uhhhh yeah no shooting bullets on an aircraft will have little danger to the aircraft itself other than hitting others.

      • Sigivald says:

        Well, “explosive decompression” is a myth.

        But aircraft aluminum skins don’t stop bullets, and there’s a lot of very important wiring one might hit.

        So I can see it as an Issue Of Possible Concern, if not an ironclad reason for a total ban on ammunition.

        (Evidently the Air Marshals aren’t considered a Huge Threat To The Plane if they have to shoot, at least compared to a successful hijacking.)

        • Keegan says:

          I guess what I meant, is that you don’t want the cabin decompressing (not explosively), or important components or wiring. The only plausible scenario in which you would want to fire a gun on a plane is in the event of a terrorist hijacking, or similar situation, and we already have some pretty heavy safeguards in place to prevent that, even unnecessary ones (hint, TSA). I advocate for open and concealed carry pretty much anywhere, but I just don’t see a reason when one would ever have to fire a weapon on a plane. It is already such a controlled environment, there is little chance of needing to defend yourself.

          That said, if carrying a loaded gun on a plane was legal, I would probably be doing it. If we didn’t have air marshals, or such extreme airport security in place, I would be advocating for loaded plane carry.

          • Kirk Parker says:

            I guess what you missed is that a few handgun-bullet-sized holes will not result in decompressing. In other words, it’s a fable.

          • Matthew Carberry says:

            There’s not a lot of wiring that isn’t redundant and already in metal channels and such.

            The odds of a handgun round bringing down a plane from the inside are about the same as one doing so from the outside. Maybe toughen the cockpit wall to match the door armor and call it good.

        • Andy says:

          Unlike me, they (I hope) practice the scenario often.

  5. Bubblehead Les says:

    One may not be required to use a Loaded Pistol/Revolver on a Plane, but what about the In-Between Time and Space? People don’t get mugged at Airport Parking Lots? Terrorists don’t drive into Airport Lobbies like in Glasgow, Scotland a couple of years ago? Or what happened at the Lod Airport in Israel in the ’70s? How about the Nutjob who decides it’s okay to remove his Belt and try and strangle a Kid at 30,000 feet?

    Mas Ayoob proposed years ago that all Military Personnel flying around be REQUIRED to Open Carry a Service Pistol while in Transit. Perhaps that would be a Good Compromise.

    • Sebastian says:

      I once proposed a legal standard for when you could disarm someone in a “sensitive place.” I called it the three S’s, Substitution, Screening and Storage. Air travel does the latter two, but the former is weak tea.

      Substitution means there’s sufficient security to act in stead of your own action. If pilots are armed, or you’re always guaranteed to have a responsible armed person on the plane, that’s good enough. Secure areas of airports usually have a pretty heavy law enforcement presence, and the cops aren’t far away.

      Screening means you’re not just declaring a gun free zone. You are checking.

      Storage means I have some place to put the gun so I’m not disarmed along the way.

      • Kirk Parker says:

        Almost, but not quite. “A responsible armed person on the place” is a single point of failure. And, if that person is in any way identifiable, quite easily made into a point of failure.

  6. Andy says:

    The non-defense situation from the article is still valid. If on a hunt/competition/dream safari, it isn’t comfortable to leave that expensive firearm in the hands of the airline.

  7. Unclezip says:

    Three letters: UPS. I always send my things ahead, insured, as I don’t trust anybody, especially the airlines or any U.S. “security” agency.

  8. Greg says:

    Having checked my gun in at the airport I wonder how many background check all of those baggage handlers have gone through to be playing with my gun while they move it from tsa to plane and back the claims area where it is left unsupervised spinning on the luggage rack until I pick it up.

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