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Letter to the Editor in Des Moine, Iowa

The fellow, Michael Montross of Winterset, knows not of what he speaks, and gets everything wrong.

His comments appear here, in full as published in the Des Moine Register:

I heard that the Democratic Party and President Obama were trying to control guns in America. Since the president oversees the Transportation Security Administration regulations I wrongly assumed he was using his powers to keep us safe. I checked several airlines and found that each passenger can, without question, bring 11 pounds of ammunition on board in a checked suitcase. On a flight of 250 passengers, there may be well over a ton of various kinds of ammunition rolling around in the baggage compartment. What could possibly go wrong?
Then I learned that in order to bring a semiautomatic weapon into the airport, all I need to do is have it in a locked container. The airline takes my word that the weapon, which is locked up, is unloaded and not fully automatic. I don’t give them my key. A friend who just brought a weapon to Des Moines verified that no one opened his container.
If I lived in Fort Lauderdale, I might wonder if President Obama was for or against gun control.

OK…Mr. Montross, the TSA does not make its own rules. Flying with a firearm is clearly spelled out in US Title 18, the Federal Laws as passed by a Duly Elected Congress. Federal Law requires, for the safety of the passengers and the public, that the firearms being transported are in a locked, hard-sided case, to only be transported via checked baggage.

Further, to prevent theft, the key to the locked luggage must remain in the possession of the firearm owner at ALL TIMES. If he relinquishes his key for any reason, to anyone including TSA, ATF, Law Enforcement, FBI, etc., said gun owner can be prosecuted and jailed.

Further, the airline does not “simply take my word that the gun is unloaded”. When transporting a firearm, the passenger must declare it at check-in, he must sign a firearms declaration form, then must open the luggage and the case the gun is in for a hand-inspection. Once the luggage is thoroughly checked, it is locked back up BY THE PASSENGER while in full view of the airline staffer. The luggage is then moved to a scanner where a TSA agent passes it through X-Ray. If any other item EXCEPT FOR the firearm shows up, the passenger is then escorted to another inspection area, he is then required to unlock the case for the inspector (never giving up possession of the key…see above) so that the luggage can be hand-inspected. While the inspection is proceeding, the passenger is REQUIRED by Federal Law to observe and keep the firearm in full sight the whole time that the luggage is open. Once the inspection is complete, the passenger is required to verify that the firearm is still in its case, then he can lock the luggage back up.

Further, the lock used MUST NOT be of the “Universal TSA-style” lock that allows anyone to open the luggage.

As for a weapon being fully automatic or not, the carriage/transport of full auto is governed by Federal Law. As long as Federal Law is being followed, it is legal to transport.

Mr. Montross complete Letter to the Editor found here for verification.

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