61-year-old Stephen Miley admitted that he had a handgun in his carry-on bag when stopped by TSA officers at the Orlando International Airport. According to the arrest report he said "he did not mean to bring his gun into the checkpoint" and "he produced a State of Florida concealed weapon permit." Miley was arrested and charged with carrying a firearm in a place prohibited by law.
According to airport officials, the majority of people arrested for carrying firearms in their carry-on luggage have state concealed weapons permits. So far this year 23 guns have been seized at the Orlando airport, 26 guns each have been seized at Tampa and Fort Lauderdale and 15 each at Jacksonville and Miami.
Nationwide, the TSA has reported a 30 percent increase over the same period last year of passengers trying to go through security with guns. Last year TSA found 1,549 firearms on passengers, which was up 17 percent from the year before.
The most common excuse offered by passengers is "I forgot it was there." But if someone is given a permit to carry a loaded, hidden handgun in public don't they also have an obligation to know where that gun is at all times? To forget where your loaded, unlocked handgun is is inexcusable.
Jimmy Taylor, a sociology professor who writes about the nation's gun culture, finds it hard to believe airline passengers forget they're carrying guns. "My wife and I check on things like eye drops and Chapstick to see if we're allowed to take them on a plane, so it's a little difficult to imagine that you aren't checking the policies about your loaded firearm before you get to the airport."