Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breaking gun news.....

Some days I can only scratch my head and wonder what those law abiding permit holders are thinking when they are traveling with their guns. And why is it that there are so many incidents happening lately? For some reason this one seems particularly hypocritical. One of the leaders of the Tea Party Patriots was charged at LaGuardia airport with carrying a gun illegally in New York. He actually followed TSA rules about having his gun in a safe and declaring it when he checked in for his flight. But apparently he didn't pay attention to the laws about where he can legally carry that gun. Also, though as a law abiding gun permit holder, he should know the rules about carrying a gun on board a plane, he thought he could anyway. From this article:
Mr. Della Fave, the Port Authority spokesman, said: “Unfortunately for Mr. Meckler, he thought he was good to go because he has a carry permit in California, but that does not cover New York. Folks who want to carry a firearm on a flight have to do their homework.”
The gun was not loaded, but “it just as well may have been, as the ammo was right there, accessible,” Mr. Della Fave said.
First of all, though Meckler says he had been receiving death threats, did he think someone on his flight to Detroit was going to kill him while on board? Or at the Detroit airport? I suppose he was not checking any luggage and so he thought he could carry this gun anyway in his carry-on luggage. Some people apparently think they don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. So, I have a question. If H.R. 822 had been passed by Congress, would gun permit holders then think they can carry those guns that they simply must have with them wherever they go, on planes? Would the slippery slope happen as new gun laws are passed ( since we can't just enforce the laws already on the books) to then allow those guns on planes? Couldn't anyone say they have received death threats? Who would know for sure? Is this why the NRA wants to nationalize gun permit laws? Some folks just don't like the rules so they want to change them.

In other news, a man charged with criminal sexual conduct brought a gun into a small Northern Minnesota County Court House and opened fire, wounding three people, including the prosecutor. Grand Marais is small quiet town along Lake Superior where not a lot goes on. It is the beginning of the beautiful Gunflint Trail where my parents and now my brother have a cabin on a pristine lake, from which my husband and I have begun many canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. But then, shootings do happen everywhere and anywhere. This man was suicidal. Again, if a gun was not available to him this would not have been easy to accomplish. His family was aware of his problems and even knew that he should not be around guns. The man's father did the right thing but Schlienz got a gun anyway.
Schlienz said he didn’t know how his son could obtain a gun. He said that when he initially pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in 2006, he went to his son’s home, took his guns, and put them in a safe in his home.
Schlienz said he checked the guns today, and none were taken.
So the man's father recognized the danger of his son having guns considering his behavior and his emotional state. We may find out as the story unfolds, where Schlienz got his gun. Some folks interviewed while at the infamous "Sven and Ole's Pizza" said this about the incident-
At Sven and Ole’s Pizza, locals found it hard to believe that a shooting had happened in their small town, tossing around words like “shocking,” “unexpected” and “tragic.” The diners tried to narrow down who might have been related to the shooting victims or the shooter himself.
The thing is, shootings like this happen every day in small ( and larger) communities all over America. We have a gun culture in America like none other among industrialized countries not at war. If someone is upset, like Schlienz or someone needs a gun because of death threats, just get out that gun and all will be taken care of. It's a way of looking at life through a certain lens that is shared by gun rights advocates but not by the majority of Americans. Unfortunately, there are so many guns in our communities that it is all too easy to carry out a shooting in an instant moment of anger, depression, revenge, jealousy or whatever emotion leads people to such things. Have we become immune to these daily headlines in our local newspapers? Have we come to accept a certain number of injuries and deaths in communities all over our country? I hope not. Where is common sense?


  1. The New York incident is another example of the ridiculous patchwork of gun laws making criminals of good people. Shame on New York.

  2. It's the law MA- do you think the Tea Party leaders should have been allowed to break the law? Shame on him for not knowing the law.

  3. "One of the leaders of the Tea Party Patriots was charged at LaGuardia airport with carrying a gun illegally in New York. He actually followed TSA rules about having his gun in a safe and declaring it when he checked in for his flight. But apparently he didn't pay attention to the laws about where he can legally carry that gun."

    Because, of course, Federal law explicitly exempts interstate travelers from local gun laws:

    "18 U.S.C. § 926A : US Code - Section 926A: Interstate transportation of firearms

    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."

    Travel to and from an airport has been held to be included in these protections. If you are in legal possession of a handgun in New Jersey, you unload it, case it, put it in your luggage, put the luggage in your trunk, and then drive to La Guardia for a flight to California, check the luggage, and properly declare to the clerk that you have a firearm in your luggage, you are entirely within the law.

    But the Port Authority police will still seize your gun, and charge you with a crime. In nearly all cases, they'll quietly drop the charges, later. But they'll keep the gun.

    In this case, given the publicity, it will probably go to trial. And we'll see the Port Authority slapped down the way they deserve.

  4. 1) He wasn't carrying the gun.
    2) He wasn't carrying the gun on the plane.
    3) The gun was locked up.

    We run into a problem because although the GOPA says that you can travel through a state with a gun that is unloaded and locked up in a car and you can travel by plane if your gun is in your checked luggage, unloaded and locked up by trying to board a plane in New York the trip from the car to the ticket counter was illegal even though the gun was unloaded and locked up.

    There have been numerous instances of people traveling by plane from one free state to another that had a transfer in NYC. When they had to layover because a flight was canceled they became criminals.

  5. "unloaded and locked up by trying to board a plane in New York the trip from the car to the ticket counter was illegal even though the gun was unloaded and locked up"

    Unloaded and locked up, trying to board a plane is not illegal, even in New York.

    Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all have laws that make possession of a firearm without a state-issued license illegal. Out of all the law enforcement organizations in these states, it's only the New York Port Authority that has ever attempted a prosecution on interstate travelers.

  6. I'm sure you know much more about this than the New York Port Authority jdege.

  7. If I drive over the Ben Franklin bridge from Philly into NJ with a firearm I magically transform from a law-abiding citizen into a Insurrectionist!(tm) felon.

    These are the 'common sense' gun laws that aren't so.....er.....common sense.

  8. So you don't like those state rights then. Why don't you get your friends in NJ to lobby to change their gun laws?

  9. "I'm sure you know much more about this than the New York Port Authority jdege."

    The New York Port Authority knows perfectly well that they are acting beyond their authority. The Attorney General of the United States has told them so:


    But they think they can get away with it. And in terms of those involved bearing any personal responsibility for their illegal actions, they are probably right.

  10. So do you believe he was in violation of both the federal FOPA law and the NYC law?

    Here is another story of NYC protecting the state from dangerous criminals


    Note that they dropped the charges. I wonder why that was.

  11. So then jdege, is it clear from the article that Meckler was traveling through LaGuardia on route to Detroit and points beyond? Since New York does not allow CA residents to carry in their state, was Meckler in the state of NY for business ( not just traveling through) with his gun illegally? It looks like he arrived at the airport from outside of the premises and so was not just traveling through. " Spokesman Al Della Fave said that Meckler, 49, had arrived at the airport at 5:30 a.m. to board a Delta flight to Detroit."

    " Traveling through New York State while possessing any handgun, for any purpose, without a New York State pistol license, is legally risky.[citation needed] New York State law does include a very limited exception for passing through the state for target competition purposes, "by a person who is a member or coach of an accredited college or university target pistol team" and "while attending or traveling to or from, an organized competitive pistol match or league competition under auspices of, or approved by, the National Rifle Association and in which he is a competitor, within 48 hours of such event or by a person who is a non-resident of the state while attending or traveling to or from an organized match sanctioned by the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association and in which he is a competitor, within 48 hours of such event."[228]
    Federal Protections
    New York State is of particular concern to interstate motorists who travel with firearms, because New York separates all of New England from the bulk of the United States. This means that under the Firearm Owners Protection Act, all people traveling through New York City and New York state with firearms are protected by federal law, however they must have their firearms unloaded and locked in a hard case where they are not readily accessible (e.g. in the trunk of a vehicle).[229] They can never be in possession of a high capacity feeding device made post-ban (although within first half of 2011 several raids have been executed by Suffolk and Nassau County police at public ranges, resulting in reported confiscation of pre-ban high capacity magazines).[citation needed] However, people have been arrested for having an unregistered handgun when flying out of N.Y. airports. In 2005, Gregg C. Revell was traveling through Newark Airport, but because of a missed flight, he was given his luggage, which included a properly checked firearm, and he was forced to spend the night in New Jersey. When he returned to the airport the following day and checked his handgun, he was arrested for illegal possession. Mr. Revell lost his lawsuit after The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held in Gregg C. Revell v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,[230] held that "Section 926A does not apply to Revell because his firearm and ammunition were readily accessible to him during his stay in New Jersey." This opinion will apply to N.Y. airports.[citation needed] If you miss a flight or for any other reason your flight is interrupted and the airline tries to return you luggage that includes a checked firearm, you can not take possession of the firearm if you are taking a later flight." From Wikipedia

  12. From the article Anthony- " Lower courts have sympathized with Revell but refused to let him sue the police.
    "We recognize that he had been placed in a difficult situation through no fault of his own," wrote Judge Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. However, the law "clearly requires the traveler to part ways with his weapon and ammunition during travel; it does not address this type of interrupted journey or what the traveler is to do in this situation.""

    I have an idea. Since it is such a hassle- leave the gun at home. What dangers will you find while traveling? I know I have had very few and I travel a lot. I never think of needing a gun when I travel. it would be mighty inconvenient. The risks are greater that permit holders will just encounter problems so why bother? Keep it at home for self defense.

  13. Until the laws are changed and places like NJ re-join the US, I suppose i'll have to live with it. But it still doesn't make it common sense.

    Can I assume, you being s state's rights supporter and all, were ok with the proposed Montana Freedom of Firearms Act?


  14. Nope--" The law has no requirements for registration, background checks or dealer licensing." It's a back door attempt to get rid of federal background checks. Are you in favor of felons, domestic abusers, adjudicated mentally ill people, drug abusers, etc. being able to legally buy guns from FFLs?

  15. Another odd thing about this story is the handgun he had has been reported as a Glock 27 and the ammo has been described as 19 rounds of 9mm. Now I do not know if this is just crappy reporting but a Glock 27 does not use 9mm rounds.

    I can see this case going either way and we do not really do not have enough info to decide if he was in violation of the FOPA law that would protect him while traveling.

  16. Got it. You support state's rights, but only when it supports your agenda.

  17. So, should we also leave other rights at state borders if a state decides to be more restrictive?

    Keep and BEAR arms.

    Free travel throughout the states.

    As a lack of background checks....their purchase would still be against the law...those buyers would be breaking the law so you are wrong again. They would NOT be LEGALLY buying guns. They would be breaking laws.

    Either you are for states' rights or you are not.

    By the way...states DO NOT have rights. Only powers granted to them by the Constitution.

    Only people have rights. And that power assumed by New York is restricting the right of a free, law abiding citizen from free travel without the possibility of becoming a criminal through the free exercise of HIS rights.

  18. "I have an idea. Since it is such a hassle- leave the gun at home. What dangers will you find while traveling?"

    Me? Not many. Which is why I've not yet flown with a firearm.

    You? Probably the same.

    But there are people who face threats that you and I don't. Or don't, right now. A person's level of risk can change quite suddenly.

  19. This post seems to indicate that Mr. Fave was carrying the firearm on his person, when in fact, according to news reports, the firearm was properly secured in his bag he was planning to check. He was arrested after properly declaring the firearm in accordance with the federal laws and regulations that govern firearms transport as a part of air service.

    We could disagree on whether or not individuals should be traveling with a firearm, and likely would - but I find it ludicrous that he was arrested in the act of interstate transportation when such activity is protected under an existing federal law.

  20. I assume you mean Mr. Meckler Bryan

  21. My apologies, I did indeed mean Mr. Meckler.

  22. Read this article- the heros who stopped the shooter in the Cook County courthouse in Minnesota didn't have guns....http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/16/us-minnesota-courthouse-shooting-idUSTRE7BF1Y820111216

  23. Minnesota Republican state Senate candidate caught with gun at the airport- he says he forgot- hmmmm.


  24. Sorry- the Republican in the link above wants to run against Senator Klobuchar. Good luck to him. He didn't even have a permit to carry his gun.

  25. More breaking gun news. This is the common sense that schools dish out


  26. That does seem harsh. Maybe a week at the silent table and a talking to. But the rest of the semester? - doesn't make much sense to me.

  27. japete

    "That does seem harsh. Maybe a week at the silent table and a talking to. But the rest of the semester? - doesn't make much sense to me. "

    You cant be serious ! A WEEK at the " silent table " ??? Ostracizing a kid in front of his peers for a completely innocent action that a bunch of hysterically hoplophobic administrators clearly over reacted to ???

    Thank God your not my Kids Principal, cause there is no way anything other then a private talk is warranted on a first " offense " for something this stupid.

    Theres another name for " zero tolerance " Its called INtolerance.

    Im anticipating the day some schmuck administrator messes with my kids in school, cause my attorney and the ACLU will be handing him or her their head on a plate.

  28. Wow- son- just don't bring your gun along when you have that confrontation with your kids' principal. Your reaction seems a bit harsh to me.

  29. more news about Tea Partier- Meckler- http://www.theunion.com/article/20111217/NEWS/111219821

    His CCW permit was suspended.