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Thread: Faulty rules blamed for gun's firing. [FFDO's ND] The Washington Times Nation

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    http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/...927995814/1002

    Inadequate handgun rules designed by Department of Homeland Security officials are to blame for last weekend's accidental discharge of a pistol by a commercial pilot during landing preparations, a pilots association said yesterday.

    "The pilot has to take his gun off and lock it up before he leaves the cockpit, so he was trying to secure the gun in preparation for landing, while he was trying to fly the airplane, too," said David Mackett, president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance. "In the process of doing that, the padlock that is required to be inserted into the holster pulled the trigger and caused the gun to discharge."

    The unnamed US Airways pilot, who was landing at Charlotte/Douglas (N.C.) International Airport, has been placed on leave by the airline since the incident.

    This was the first report of a pilot's gun being discharged on a plane.

    APSA, an organization of pilots who lobby Congress on aviation security issues, said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has refused to adopt standard carriage rules recommended last year by the Federal Air Marshal Service.

    "We complained to DHS two years ago that this was an unsafe rule," Mr. Mackett said.

    Rather than carry the weapon on their person at all times, pilots must lock it up before opening the cockpit door, meaning pilots handle the gun as many as 10 times per flight, the association estimates.

    Pilots who have completed training to become federal flight deck officers (FFDOs) and carry weapons must use a holster used primarily as a home child-safety lock. A padlock is inserted through the holster and trigger guard, but, if inserted backward, it can trigger the gun, pilots say.



    "It's a completely unsafe system unless it's used in a static environment — in a bedroom with good light. But to try to balance a gun on your lap and padlock it while flying an airplane 300 miles an hour, sometimes in the dark, is not secure," Mr. Mackett said.

    Gregory S. Alter, Federal Air Marshal Service spokesman, said federal law prohibits carriage outside of the flight deck.

    "The methods used by FFDOs to secure, transport and store their duty weapon are fully consistent with long-standing law-enforcement practices widely in use with many law-enforcement organizations," Mr. Alter said. "Once the weapon-discharge investigation is complete, any lessons learned will be implemented."


    [No lessons willhave bben learned that we couldn't have anticipated]

    The Associated Press obtained photos of the damage to the exterior of the plane that showed a small exit hole below the cockpit window.

    None of the 124 passengers aboard Flight 1536 from Denver on Saturday were injured. Airline officials said the Airbus A319 was removed from service after the incident and returned to flight status Wednesday.


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    http://secure-skies.org/doc/PRESS%20...N%20MISHAP.pdf

    AIRLINE PILOTS SECURITY ALLIANCE
    ONE PARK LANE, SUITE 412
    BOSTON, MA 02210
    http://www.Secure-Skies.org
    PRESS RELEASE RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2 7 , 2 0 0 8
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Blame Shifts to TSA in Pilot’s Gun Mishap
    Airline pilots and federal flight deck officers (FFDO) say ill-conceived TSA weapons handling
    rules were to blame for the accidental discharge of a pilot’s firearm in the cockpit of a US
    Airways jet last weekend.
    Federal officers familiar with the investigation say they repeatedly warned TSA officials that an
    unprecedented TSA requirement that pilots take off and lock up their guns before leaving the
    cockpit is manifestly unsafe and would result in accidents.
    “The pilot was trying to lock his gun and remove the holster in an airplane going 300 miles per
    hour in preparation for landing and the padlock depressed the trigger,” said a federal flight
    deck officer who declined to be identified. “TSA knew this could happen but didn’t get rid of
    the requirement.”
    A special working group within the Federal Air Marshal Service recommended TSA adopt
    standard federal weapons carriage rules for flight officers last year to prevent accidents. But,
    TSA officials declined to implement the group’s recommendation.
    “Every other federal law enforcement officer in the air and on the ground carries his gun
    concealed on his person where he can control it. And he never touches it except in an
    emergency, because the less it is handled, the better,” said David Mackett, president of the
    Airline Pilots Security Alliance. “TSA’s got these pilots taking off and putting on their guns 10
    times a day. It’s a recipe for disaster and that’s why no other agency does it.”
    Mackett says TSA’s unilateral policy that pilots’ guns be carried ‘off-body’, has resulted in
    numerous guns being lost or stolen, and now in an accident. “We have to have the FFDO
    program since screeners miss so many weapons at checkpoints and air marshals will never
    protect more than 1 or 2% of flights. But, TSA can’t continuously ignore standard procedures
    proven over thousands of other law enforcement officers and then blame the pilot when it
    goes wrong.”
    “We said, ‘Just use the same procedures you use for your own air marshals,’” said one federal
    flight officer. “How hard is that to understand? It’s long past time Congress took a hard look
    at the way this program is being run.”
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________
    The Airline Pilots Security Alliance was formed in the wake of 9/11 to provide unbiased, nonpartisan expert guidance
    and information to policymakers and the public on aviation security issues, and has since become a leading voice in
    this arena. Our all-volunteer organization, representing thousands of pilots from every major U.S. airline, has been
    instrumental in crafting several key pieces of aviation security legislation. Our expertise has been called upon by
    personnel at the Federal Aviation Administration and the Departments of Transportation and Justice. We have also
    briefed numerous members of Congress and their staff on important aviation security matters. While many other
    organizations and entities have articulated positions on these matters, APSA remains unique in its independence and
    single-issue focus.
    CONTACT: AIRLINE PILOTS SECURITY ALLIANCE
    615-479-4140
    david_Mackett@secure-skies.org

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    http://www.sunherald.com/447/story/454279.html

    CCRKBA Calls for Independent Investigation of In-Flight Gun Mishap to Prevent Cover-Up

    By Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

    BELLEVUE, Wash., March 27 -- The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today is calling for an independent investigation of an in-flight discharge of a pistol carried by an armed U.S. Airways pilot to prevent any whitewashing, cover-up or scapegoating in the incident.CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said the incident is alarming because of allegations that the pilot may have been following strict Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules when the mishap occurred. Those rules came under fire today from the Airline Pilots Security Alliance (APSA), which represents thousands of commercial airline pilots.
    "We have a keen interest in this case because we were first to demand that airline pilots be allowed to carry sidearms in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack," Gottlieb stated. "We called for that measure just hours after four terrorist-commandeered jets hurtled out of the sky, killing thousands of Americans in New York, Washington, DC and a Pennsylvania field on that horrible day in 2001, and that must never happen again.
    "But from the outset," he continued, "TSA officials resisted the Federal Flight Deck Officers (FFDO) program, with bureaucratic red tape and requirements that defy logic in terms of recruiting as many pilots as possible. Rules and red tape actually discouraged would-be volunteers. Professional pilots who are trusted to safely fly millions of passengers across our skies should be just as trustworthy to defend their aircraft from takeover. This incident could be used to erode public support for the FFDO program, which would be insane. There may or may not be an armed Federal Air Marshal aboard an airplane, but you are guaranteed there is a pilot on board.
    "Today, we are calling for an independent investigation of this incident, to be conducted by a panel of civilian firearms instructors and gun safety experts," Gottlieb stated. "This will eliminate any possibility or future assertion that the TSA whitewashed this incident and used the pilot as a scapegoat to preserve unsafe regulations.
    "Conversely," he added, "such an investigation by non-government experts who are also not connected to APSA or the airlines could determine, without bias and free from any influence or coercion, whether the pilot was handling his firearm safely, or in an unsafe manner. We want the truth, and unlike they say in the movies, we believe the American public can handle the truth."
    With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (http://www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation's premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.
    SOURCE Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
    Alan Gottlieb of Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, +1-425-454-4911,


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    Sheesh, that makes a lot of sense. No wonder this happened.

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    Thanks for keeping us updated on this one, Doug.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    carry weapons must use a holster used primarily as a home child-safety lock. A padlock is inserted through the holster and trigger guard,
    Can somebody please post a picture of this kind of holster?


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    pkbites wrote:
    Can somebody please post a picture of this kind of holster?
    This was posted by Pointman in another thread on this topic:



    The padlock hasp goes inside the trigger guard, behind the trigger, blocking it from being pulled even if the holster is cut away. However, if the gun isn't pushed all the way forward in the holster when the padlock is attached, or if the padlock hasp is pushed through at an angle, it can push the trigger back and cause a discharge.

    Personally, I think this thing would make me nervous to use even in the safety of my own home, with good light, nothing to bump me and plenty of time. I think I'd unload the gun.

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    Buddy of mine said he looked at a holster like that and the instructions that came with it stated: "Do not use trigger lock with loaded handgun as accidental discharge may result." or something substantially like that. *shrug* Seems pretty obviously stupid to put a DAO pistol, condition 1, 8lb trigger pull and no external safety into that type of holster, and then insert and lock the trigger guard, in a confining space, dimly lit, with a great chance of turbulence.

    Only the gov't would think that was a good idea. This is so oviously stupid that even a k-8 government school administrator could have figured out that was a stupid plan.


    Oh, and the other thread on this issue: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum4/9319-2.html
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Thanks for the picture.

    No way would I use something like that on a loaded weapon.

    I did not know these pilots had to take their weapon off like that. How stupid. Strap it on and keep it during the entire shift.

    By the way, do they carry openly or concealed?

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    pkbites wrote:
    I did not know these pilots had to take their weapon off like that. How stupid. Strap it on and keep it during the entire shift.
    Even better, mount two loaded weapons to the wall in the cockpit and just leave them there all the time. Provide a mechanism (e.g. padlocks) to lock them in place when no one is in the cockpit to prevent theft. Have the maintenance crews periodically perform a function check, clean, lube, etc.

    In other words, just make them part of the aircraft so they're always there, and flight crews never have to handle them except when they're needed.

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    swillden wrote:
    pkbites wrote:
    I did not know these pilots had to take their weapon off like that. How stupid. Strap it on and keep it during the entire shift.
    Even better, mount two loaded weapons to the wall in the cockpit and just leave them there all the time. Provide a mechanism (e.g. padlocks) to lock them in place when no one is in the cockpit to prevent theft. Have the maintenance crews periodically perform a function check, clean, lube, etc.

    In other words, just make them part of the aircraft so they're always there, and flight crews never have to handle them except when they're needed.
    I'm not sure that's better. I have a shotgun mounted in my squad car but I still keep my pistol on my person.

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    pkbites wrote:
    swillden wrote:
    pkbites wrote:
    I did not know these pilots had to take their weapon off like that. How stupid. Strap it on and keep it during the entire shift.
    Even better, mount two loaded weapons to the wall in the cockpit and just leave them there all the time. Provide a mechanism (e.g. padlocks) to lock them in place when no one is in the cockpit to prevent theft. Have the maintenance crews periodically perform a function check, clean, lube, etc.

    In other words, just make them part of the aircraft so they're always there, and flight crews never have to handle them except when they're needed.
    I'm not sure that's better. I have a shotgun mounted in my squad car but I still keep my pistol on my person.
    That's because you're expected to face armed opponents outside of your squad car.

    I think it's an appropriate security restriction that pilots not carry their weapons outside of the cockpit. The whole notion of pilots being armed is somewhat questionable from a security standpoint -- it provides a potential hijacker with a known location to acquire a gun. That's why Air Marshals aren't uniformed and conceal. But if pilots do have guns, it makes sense to keep them behind a locked cockpit door at all times, to avoid a potential gun grab.

    This is different from your environment, because you can reasonably be expected to face bad guys who bring their own guns. TSA security does do a reasonably good job of keeping unauthorized guns off of planes, so by keeping the FDO's weapons on the flight deck, and the door closed and locked, we can assure that the FDOs have force superiority. The result would not be the same in your case.

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    Brought to you by the brainiacs at the Transportation SAFETY Administration!!!
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    That's a little different procedure than I understood. Glad to have the clarification. Rules are not quite as stupid as I understood but still pretty stupid. Good video. Nice to see it being "recreated" rather than just imagining it based on text and a photo.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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