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Tag: Guns

Lawyer: Federal Air Marshals Should Not Use Gun Ranges That Aren’t Lead Free

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal air marshals should not be using gun ranges that aren’t proven to be led free, the top attorney for the marshals told TSA on Tuesday.

The Seattle Times reports that a letter from attorney Lawrence Berger, who represents the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, was sent to to the agency expressing the concerns.

The letter following an April 13 investigation by the Seattle Times that revealed TSA has endangered hundreds of employees by having them use commercial ranges that have lead contamination.

“FLEOA demands that the Transportation Security Administration immediately cease and desist contracting with or otherwise utilizing any gun range that has not been inspected by or received an up-to-date clearance from OSHA that the range is safe from toxic poisoning,” Berger said.

The Seattle Times wrote:

When lead-based ammunition is fired, lead vapor and dust spread into the air and onto surfaces. If a range doesn’t have proper ventilation and fails to adequately clean the range, air marshals can be overexposed to lead. Shooters might also track the metal home and contaminate others. Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning.

Other Stories of Interest


Border Patrol Agents Say Gun Shortage Forces Them to Share Rifles

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A gun shortage at the Border Patrol has forced about 400 agents to share 100 rifles, one agent told Fox News.

That means agents aren’t able to calibrate their weapon.

“We are left to check out rifles that were unzeroed to us,” a border patrol agent told FoxNews.com. “This practice needs to be outlawed, as it could cost someone their life.”

One agent said it’s important to have a calibrated rifle.

“Imagine you are out in the mountains of Arizona, walking a trail known to be used by drug smugglers.As you walk up a ridge, a group of smugglers crest over the mountain on the same trail 100 yards away – coming straight toward you, armed with AK-47s,” he said.

The shortage was prompted by the agency’s desire to weed out M4 carbine rifles because of fears that they would malfunction.

Number of Weapons Seized at Airports This Year Increased 20% Over Last Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The number of weapons seized at airports this year have increased 20% over last year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

TSA agents have confiscated 2,164 guns as of Christmas, which marks the seventh consecutive year of increases in the number of weapons seized.

So what’s the deal? Haven’t people been warned enough since Sept. 11, 2001, that they won’t be able to board a plane with a weapon?

It appears not, TSA officials said.

The agency launched a public-relations campaign last month to remind people during the holidays to leave their weapons at home.

Other Stories of Interest


Record Number of People Trying to Board Planes with Guns; TSA Braces for Holiday Travel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No matter how many warnings the TSA issues, people are trying to bring guns onto airplanes at a record rate, Channel3000.com reports.

So far this year, more than 1,930 travelers were found with a gun – the most ever calculated in one year. The number caught with guns all of last year was 1,813.

Expecting 24.6 million travelers during the Thanksgiving period, the TSA is bracing for a surge in people bringing guns in their carry-ons.

The reasons for the influx are varied.

“Some people just aren’t using common sense,” said George Hobica, founder of the travel advice web site Airfarewatchdog.com. “What’s really scary is that eventually some of these will get by TSA and misused.”

TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said most travelers who are caught with guns claim they forgot they had their weapon.

“Perhaps we need stronger penalties for people who try to bring them, or forget to remove them, in carry-ons,” Hobica said. “That might jog peoples’ memories to not try to bring them on planes.”

 Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agents Forced to Share Rifles After Problems Found with M4 Carbines

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some U.S. Border Patrol agents are being forced to share their rifles while on patrol near Tucson because the agency is inspecting the quality of the M4 carbines, KVOA reports.

“There’s a lot of agents that are pretty upset over it,” said Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector union. “We know it’s a dangerous job. We know what we signed on for but we want to have as much of the equipment as we need to perform the job.”

M4 carbines are used by Border Patrol agents and the U.S. military and have been common for the agency’s tactical unit, BORTAC.

Without their own weapons, some agents can’t personalize the settings on their rifles.

“The problem is they are now pool guns so what happens is instead of having their individual ones they have sighted in they’re having to use a pool weapon that you don’t know who used it before you,” del Cueto said.

Customs and Border Protection released a statement to the News 4 Tucson Investigators last week, stating: “CBP’s Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are jointly inspecting the serviceability of M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol Sectors nationwide. Some of (the) inspected M4 carbines were deemed unserviceable and removed from inventory to alleviate safety concerns. Inspections will continue to ensure the unserviceable M4 carbines are repaired or replaced for reintroduction into the field. No further information is available at this time.”

TSA: Number of Guns Discovered at Airports Increases for Third Straight Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of guns seized at airport security checkpoints has increased for the third straight year, Skift reports.

Security already discovered more guns this year than it found all of last year.

The number of guns reached more than 1,813, which is how many guns were discovered in 2013. In 2012, TSA found 1,550 guns.

“We don’t want to find a firearm,” TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein told Skift. “It slows down the line for everyone.”

States that have lax laws about carrying guns into public places typically have airports with the most seizures. They are airports such as Houston, Denver, Dallas and Atlanta.

Other Stories of Interest


Former FBI Agent Hired by School District to Scour Social Media Comments by Students

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One school district in Alabama has taken the unusual step of hiring a former FBI agent to monitor students on social media, the Daily Intelligencer reports.

The idea was to catch students who make statements linking them to drugs, guns, sex and gangs.

The effort led to 14 expulsions last year.

Ex-FBI Agent Chris McRae was hired to look for expulsion-worthy transgressions.

The expulsions drew criticism because 12 of the 14 expelled students were black in a district where only 40% of the students are black.

“That is effectively targeting or profiling black children in terms of behavior and behavioral issues,” said Madison county commissioner Bob Harrison.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Offers $5,000 Reward in Search for High-Powered Guns Stolen from Agent’s Car

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of two high-powered weapons and body armor from an FBI agent’s car in North Carolina, WSOCTV.com reports.

The shotgun and rifle were stolen from the agent’s car sometime between midnight and 8 a.m. Monday in the Hunter Oaks neighborhood.

The agent was permitted to keep his weapons in his car because he is part of a special response team that must be ready to respond around-the-clock.

It’s still unclear how the vehicle was broken into.

“No windows were broken,” said John Strong, who is the special agent in charge of the Charlotte Division. “The weapons were in individual canvas bags and locked in the trunk, as required by policy.”