Never in history has there ever been so many firearms seized by the TSA at American airports across the country. They are either doing their job better (lol), more people are carrying guns and forgetting about them, or, however unlikely, maybe some of these people want to actually do harm with them. Nevertheless, it has been documented that more people than ever are buying and carrying guns, so forgetfulness is the likely culprit.
If forgetfulness is the issue, it's unacceptable.
Authorities have even said that the excuse normally given, is “I forgot it was there.” In the world of guns, though, forgetting that it is there is a big “no no” for many reasons.
If a gun owner accidentally goes into the part of an airport where firearms are prohibited—or anywhere guns aren't allowed—it could end up turning into a criminal charge. For example, I live in the part of Pennsylvania that is really close to the New Jersey border, and I carry hollow points in my personal carry piece. As a side note, JHP ammo is prohibited in NJ except under very limited circumstances. If I find myself accidentally in NJ, one of the strictest gun states in the union, I may end up down that proverbial, stinky, and paddle-less creek.
The difference between me, and the people who get caught at airport security with a gun, is that I know where my gun is at all times. Not knowing where it is, or forgetting that it is even there is a huge problem that gun owners must actively fight until carrying becomes second nature, and even then you must actively remember your gun is there without touching it. Once the gun is trained with on a regular basis and the body and hands grow more accustomed to it, you are more likely to remember it is there and not bring it to places where it shouldn't be—like the security check point at an airport.
The key here, is that you have to actively fight complacency and/or negligence until you know beyond a shadow of a doubt where your firearm is at all times. Even then, there are times where you may need to remove your gun, like when you use the restroom, and remember that you must re-holster it when done. Which, by the way, is something that more advanced gun owners deal with, as well.
There are a couple of ways you can combat this if you must carry in a bag. The most important and obvious, is to not leave your gun in your bag at the end of every day. Something as simple as carefully removing it each night will force you to think about it the next morning when you go to put it back in. At some point, you'll develop a routine and handling your gun will become second nature.
Another thing you could do while you're putting it the bag, is to state the reason why you're putting it in there. “This pistol is for self-defense” is all you need to say, but it is enough to trigger an emotional response in your brain. When your brain gets emotional about something, it tends to remember things more clearly.
Perhaps one of the best things you can do is get some sort of firearms education. The goal is to get you better acquainted with whatever you're carrying. Once you're more familiar with your gun of choice, you'll be less likely to leave it in your carry on bag. This is also one of the reasons why all of Gun Carrier's contributors recommend everyone from beginner to advanced get some kind of training so they become more proficient with their firearm of choice.
As a side note, any of us who've been around for a bit tend to get bent out of shape when we're called gun experts. None of us are experts. We are all simply students who try to learn as much as we can, whenever we can.
There is also something to be said about off-body carry and why it is usually not the best method of concealing your gun. Sure, it's better to have a pistol with you somewhere so you can defend yourself. However, the simple fact that if you're going into the pre-flight panic of having to pack for your trip, get to the airport on time, and kiss your loved ones goodbye—chances are good that you may forget that it's even in your carry bag.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again, it's better to carry a gun on your body than in a bag. Is there a time and place for it? Absolutely. But, if you get to the airport and there's a gun in your carry on, that is neither the time, nor the place.
Personally speaking, I've walked into an airport with a loaded gun on my hip before. It's not that I forgot it was there, though, and I wasn't going through security. I was simply picking up a rental car and the airport I was in didn't prohibit guns until the security checkpoint.
Sound Off Gun Carriers! When you were brand new to carrying a concealed weapon, what helped you remember that it was there? Let us know in the comments below. Remember we are all about education over here, so anything you share could save a life. Also make sure you like Gun Carrier's Facebook Page.