Tea Party Founder and Coordinator Mark Meckler was arrested in NY’s La Guardia Airport with a gun in his luggage. Ladd and his Minions are jumping with joy!
That is, of course until you read what really happened. Mr. Meckler had the gun secured and declared at the point of embarkation and was legally allowed to carry it to its final destination; La Guardia was just a transfer point in his journey. There is this pesky Federal Law called FOPA (Firearm Owners Protection Act) and in which a section declares that “persons traveling from one place to another cannot be incarcerated for a firearms offense in a state that has strict gun control laws if the traveler is just passing through (short stops for food and gas) and the firearms and ammunition are not immediately accessible.” The short version is that if you are legal to possess it where you are and legal to possess it where you are going, you cannot be arrested. That is the law and has been since 1982, plain and simple. The safe travel addendum to FOPA came as protection to gun owners that could find themselves in violation of local law for events out of their control. If you were on a flight that got diverted due to weather or mechanical malfunction into a state that had much harsher gun ownership laws, you would automatically become a criminal the moment the airplane tires touched the runaway in the restricted state.
Unfortunately since 1982, two states have been ignoring FOPA just because: New Jersey and New York. The law although explicit, has no teeth regarding enforcement. There is nothing in it that would punish the State for illegally arresting a citizen protected by FOPA.It is not unusual for gun owners to take the long way if a travel arrangement has them landing on any of the gun hostile- Law Ignoring states. What is needed is an addition to the law much like Florida just did to the State Preemption law and which hits directly in terms of money out of their pockets those who enact local gun control laws.It’d be fun to see a TSA busybody at La Guardia or JFK arresting a gun owner following Federal Law and then be nailed with a $10,000 fine for violation of FOPA, specially when the money has to come out of his pocket.