TSA Bully Tactics: Making Travelers Violate Federal Law

This is legal if you pay attention to the rules. Don't let TSA agents bully you in to breaking the law,

This is legal if you pay attention to the rules. Don’t let TSA agents bully you into breaking the law,

When you’re the fastest growing federal bureaucracy in history (that’s NOT a good thing by the way) you get to do pretty much whatever you want, regardless of what the law says. After all, they’ve got uniforms, buy lawyers by the pallet load, and if all else fails, have Eric Holder on their side of the kickball team.

In the case of flying with firearms in checked baggage, the law is short, sweet and intolerably (apparently not for the TSA however) clear. Here it is, as written in the Code of Federal Regulations:

Title 49: Transportation, Part 1540 – Civil Aviation Security: General Rules, Subpart B – Responsibilities of Passengers and Other Individuals and Persons, 1540.111 (c) (iv) – The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the passenger retains the key or combination.

Title 49: Transportation, Part 1544 – Aircraft Operator Security: Air Carriers and Commercial Operators,  Subpart C – Operations, 1544.203 (f) (iii) The container in which it is carried is locked, and only the individual checking the baggage retains the key or combination;

While the emphasis above is mine, the TSA can’t seem to figure out what might be the shortest and simplest federal law on the books, so I added the bold to help them out. I’ve written about this a number of times (here and here for example) in hopes that fellow subjects citizens will know how to travel with firearms according to the law.

Previously, I mentioned that the security folks in the Bend, Oregon airport force travelers to violate the law by surrendering their gun case keys to an agent who inspects the contents of your firearms case in a back room where you are not allowed. More recently, my home airport of Charleston, South Carolina has assumed the same practice. Perhaps the TSA has sharing days at CiCi’s Pizza to swap ideas amongst each other?

Here’s the problem. You are not allowed to surrender your keys or combination to your secure gun case, period. No exceptions are stated for surrendering your key ring to federal employees either. You, and you alone, are responsible for making sure your hard travel case remains locked and under your absolute control. Any variation from that and you are in violation of the law.

Would you care to guess who would win in Judge Judy’s courtroom should something happen with your guns after the TSA opened your case out of your presence? I’ll give you a hint, if it comes to a he said / she said legal argument between the feds and you, you’ll go down faster than Piers Morgan’s ratings.

As I’ve written about before, the law as written rules out use of TSA locks, since by very definition, tens of thousands of people have the “key” to your TSA locks. That’s the entire purpose of TSA locks. They have a “master key” so pretty much anyone can open them.

Back to Charleston. Not long ago, when declaring firearms at the ticket counter, the agent would call downstairs to TSA and request an agent. The TSA agent would walk up a flight of steps to inspect your gun case (in your presence) then allow you to lock it back up. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to work.

Now, TSA no longer wants to walk up the steps or maybe they just prefer to rummage through your gun case in private. They want you to send your keys downstairs, while you wait upstairs, so they can do whatever it is they do. No thanks. I love those spiffy TSA uniforms and all, and nothing makes my day like getting groped in the privates, but as much as I like those folks, I’m not going to violate federal law for them.

What do do?

Leave for the airport early in case you have to have a polite discussion with the agents. Quote the law mentioned above. Better yet, print it out. If you’re not making any headway, request an airport law enforcement officer and explain it to them. It’s a pain. You might miss your flight. But if you don’t start pushing back against abuse of power, you might find yourself resisting involuntary cavity searches before the next season of The Bachelorette is canceled.

Legislative Institute Against Redneck Shooters (LIARS)

Wrestling with Pigs is Muddy

Wrestling with Pigs is Muddy

Never wrestle with pigs. You both get muddy, and the pig kind of likes it.

But, there’s an exception to every rule, and this weeks exception relates to combating the American Hunters and Shooters Association. As we write about on AmmoLand.com this week, this group is the shammiest of shammy-sham-sham organizations. Their name and mission statements imply that they are out to protect the rights of shooters and hunters, but their real mission is just the opposite.

That’s OK though. We’ve got a strategy to deal with this. We’re starting our very own shammy-sham-sham political organization called the Legislative Institute Against Redneck Shooters, or LIARS for short. It’s brilliant. In our opinion anyway.

Read all about it at AmmoLand.com.

 

Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine Bill At Risk Due To Shortage Of Castles

Druim Moir Castle

Druim Moir Castle

York, PA – Close on the heels of a Pennsylvania House 161-35 vote, the state’s new Castle Doctrine Bill is already at risk of failure. Not due to Governor Ed Rendell’s threat of veto, but from a more insurmountable hurdle – a severe shortage of qualified castles in the state.

According to unnamed authorities, the Keystone State only has 29 qualified castles. “You would think that as the Keystone State, we would have plenty of castles” complained Henry Thaytth, Director of Development for Pennsylvania’s Castle Development Commission. “After all, the word keystone does sort of imply castle-like buildings and other large things built from rocks.”

Authorities in the Pennsylvania Department of Castle Numerology and Naming concede that the state is light on castle doctrine locations. “Yes, we’re behind the curve, and its true that 8 of our castles are unnamed at this point and one of them is really just a kids playhouse” stated Thaytth. “But look on the bright side, we’ve got castles with really European sounding names like Druim Moir, Ballytore, and Glencairn. Most chicks are impressed by that when I tell them.”

White Castle Restaurant

White Castle Restaurant

The state has recently implemented controversial efforts to up its castle count by including White Castle locations. Many are opposed to this practice on principle only, as the state currently does not have any White Castle Restaurants. “I can’t really discuss the details of our negotiations with the state” commented White Castle CFO Gordon Gecko. “Let’s just say that what’s worth doing is worth doing for money. By the way, if you need a friend, get a dog.”

Potential Gun Crime Increases 15% in Massachusetts

CrimeThe number of gun permits surged 15% over the past two years according to The Boston Globe, creating near perfect conditions for increasing the state’s criminal population. With the addition of 28,000 Class A firearms permits, commonly called a “license to carry,” Massachusetts now has over 224,000 newly minted criminals in training.

Some questioned the connection between gun permit holders and crime. “Do you really think a permit alone qualifies these people as criminals?” asked one citizen. “It takes years of incarceration to learn the tricks of the trade and none of these folks have never seen the inside of the slammer. I think this is really going to bring down the quality level of our average hoodlum.”

But police officials generally disagree. “Look, if these people were really law abiding, why would they want to own and carry a gun?” asked Boston Police Captain Patrick O’Malley. “We’re just thankful that they are generally docile and easier to arrest. If we have to arrest people anyway, I would much rather that person be an accountant or housewife rather than a gang banger or street thug.”

Most agree that the surge in permit activity will yield much needed economic benefits by decreasing criminal unemployment and swelling the ranks of state and county law enforcement.

“We’re thrilled about the fresh crop of citizens to rough up.” said Harry Callahan, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety. “We’re going to have to hire at least 750 new officers statewide to harass these folks.”

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