Guns in checked luggage? - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Guns in checked luggage?

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Since 9/11 the federal government has taken several measures to enhance security at airports.  Many travelers were surprised to learn that it is legal to take a gun in your checked luggage. 
 
“There has to be stronger security on checked baggage," said a traveler at Palm Beach International Airport on Monday. 
 
Travelers have to go through several hurdles before they make it onto the plane. 
 
“It’s the belt, the coat and the shoes and those things," said one traveler.
 
It's a tedious process for many. 
 
“It is annoying on the other hand we have strong security here at the airports,” a traveler said. 
 
While security at the check-in is tight, just downstairs at the baggage claim any of the bags could have a gun in it and that is perfectly legal.
 
Some lawmakers like Debbie Wassermann-Schultz want to close what they see as a gaping hole in security procedure. 
 
Chad Jenkings, a former FBI agent and security expert, said there is a huge difference between securing an airport versus the entire airport. 
 
“Anyone can come in, from outside, with a weapon can come inside and perpetrate a crime," Jenkins said. "Just like anyone with an explosive device could. ”
 
Some suggest that instead of picking up your bag with the gun at regular baggage claim, you would have to go to a separate location. 
 
“That’s a reactive measure that puts the burden on every single person,” Jenkins said. 
 
However, that is how drastically policy changed after previous attacks or even attack attempts. Because of the shoe bomber in 2001, we now have to take off our shoes when going through security. 
 
The threat of liquid explosives being used in the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot in London means we are no longer allowed to take larger volumes of liquids on planes. 
 
The difference is that those attacks were planned to be carried out on the plane instead of at the airport. 
 
Jenkins said it's much harder to secure an entire airport. 
 
“Today it’s guns, tomorrow it’s trucks, then it’s liquid explosives, it’s never ends," Jenkins said. "It’s part of the world we live in today.”
 
One man in the TSA line on Monday at PBIA has a very personal connection with the issue of security at airports.
 
“My father, Peter Hill, was a hostage in 1985," Hill said. 
 
Peter Hill was one of 39 Americans held hostage in Beirut onboard a plane hijacked by Shiite Muslims. 
 
“Somebody had come on to the airplane with guns in a crystal vase because they couldn’t detect the led through the crystal. And they took over the airplane,” Hill said.
 
It's one reason Hill doesn't mind the thorough security check at airports. 
 
“I don’t like it but I’m very grateful they’re there,” Hill said. 
 
 
 
 
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