The ironically named Rick Derringer has been fined $1,000 for carrying a pistol and ammunition on a commercial flight.
Derringer has a concealed weapon permit which he believed allowed him to travel with the pistol in his carry-on. It is something he does 30-50 times a year.
Only once before did airport security find his gun and then because of the carry permit let him travel with it. That was in violation of security regulations, but since the security agent didn’t know the rules, no surprise that the gun owner didn’t know them.
This time the pistol was found while he was making connections in Atlanta after flying in from Mexico.
I get that a weapon might be missed once, but 30-to-50 times!?! It doesn’t say much for airport security, but them much of what passes for security is for optics.
The real security story is the scanning equipment. I once travelled with a security manager from Pearson International Airport. When the no-liquid ban was introduced he learned of a flaw in their security system. The airport security scan found a passenger travelling with a large bottle of shampoo. When the security agents opened the traveller’s bag to confiscate the shampoo they also found a handgun.
The handgun didn’t show up on their scanning devices because these machines could only be set to look for metal or liquid, not both.
Pearson, like all major airports replaced their scanning equipment. But those older, less effective machines were recycled to smaller, secondary airports across North America, and I presume around the world. That is the security Achilles heel.