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‘It Was A Mistake’ Doesn’t Cut It: Former UNC Board Chair Gets Stopped By TSA For Firearm In Carry-On

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CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA — An attorney and former UNC board chair member was caught with a concealed carry pistol in his carry-on item at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).  According to authorities, the loaded .380 ACP pistol was found in his briefcase when it went through the scanner.  It was an unfortunate event to which the attorney took full responsibility immediately in a press release to WBTV.

“I took my wife and three adult children to a gun range Sunday for private classes necessary for them to obtain concealed weapons permits,” Fennebresque said. “Because I have a concealed carry permit, I brought four handguns in my briefcase for them to use at the range. I removed the guns from the briefcase and put them back in my gun safe when I returned home, but unwittingly missed one.”

If you have ever been in the position of turning your exercise bag or duffle into your range bag, you know the anxiety of packing for a trip.  There’s not a single flight I get on that I don’t check my carry on for brass or live rounds left in there.  It’s such an easy oversight.  This guy, however, got tagged for a handgun.

We’re not saying this is an understandable mistake or anything of the sort — but it is something that happens a lot in the concealed carry community.  According to the TSA, they capture an average of six firearms a day in airport screening areas.  That’s insane!  Especially because with each of those firearms confiscated, not only do you have to go through a lengthy (and expensive) process of getting them back, you’re usually charged with some sort of crime when it happens.

As for this attorney, he was charged with possession of a firearm on city property according to WBTV.  That’s a misdemeanor in the state of North Carolina — so chances are good he may not loose his concealed carry license.

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His heart definitely appeared to be in the right place with taking responsibility for the incident and also trying to train up his family so they could get their concealed carry permits.  The man had the right intention and just happened to have a ridiculous bit of oversight.

This is something that we have to harp on a lot because it’s so very important that we, as concealed carriers, don’t let this same mistake happen to us.

Here’s a few easy ways to ensure this never happens:

  • Designate a range bag for guns and ammunition.
  • Designate your briefcase, favorite camping backpack, and all other potential carry-on luggage as “no guns or ammo”.

It may be annoying but just by segregating the bags you carry guns and ammunition in from the ones you travel with can save you ever having to worry about a handgun or ammunition getting found by TSA gate screeners.

In addition to that, it’s always a good idea to inspect your luggage just in case.  It’s so easy for a single round to escape our attention.

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Categories: General, News
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About G. Halek | View all posts by G. Halek

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun…

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • Bob P

    This incident highlights how easy it is for a moment of broken concentration to result in serious consequences. I once thought that guidelines such as “never have ammo in the room when conducting dry fire practice” are for idiots but, we are all capable of being idiots for a few seconds. I hope the attorney will follow James suggestion and designate a separate range bag or brief case for firearms equipment. Also hope the attorney will take advantage of this opportunity to educate others.

  • ucfgrad93

    Designate a range bag for guns and ammunition.

    Designate your briefcase, favorite camping backpack, and all other potential carry-on luggage as “no guns or ammo”.

    This is excellent advice.

  • Kyle Guthrie

    Or just know where your gun is!

    I’ve used my gun bag as my basic “go bag” since forever. When I have to go on a plane, I open it up, remove the gun, speed loaders, etc, and put them in safe.

    end of problem.

  • Clark

    Or just decriminalize it like Georgia has done. If Atlanta’s tsa twerps find a gun, if the person is licensed, all the police can do is ask them to remove it from the checkpoint, no arrest necessary.

    • antiliberalcryptonite

      Wow. That is just wayyy too logical and makes too much sense. /sc

  • dawggg63

    I’ve seen a lot of different types of bags at the range… not sure I ever saw anyone use a briefcase as a range bag.

    • Don

      Lawyer. Nuff said, lol :)

  • Petrushka

    I don’t believe this turkey. One should never transport range guns that are loaded. A small .380 is a difficult gun to train and learn on. Too many young and women shooters are given them and their recoil and short sight radius have discouraged a lot of new shooters. No, the .380 is a carry weapon and this turkey may well have forgotten that he had it in the briefcase. But guess what. When you accept the responsibility to carry an instrument of lethal force you instantly become held to a much higher level of accountability. This turkey is a massive fail and cannot simply be excused.

  • JiminAZ

    I put a rather large knife in my camera bag one day in order to cut any offending foliage down that was in the way of a portrait I was doing. A couple weeks later I flew to Hawaii and carried the camera bag on board with me. No problem, and the flight was uneventful. On the way back however, TSA found the knife during an X-ray evaluation of the bag. Of course, I was shocked it was still in there, and took full responsibility. TSA said since I cooperated with them, there would be no charges. They gave me the knife back so I could place it in my checked bag.
    It was interesting that TSA in Phoenix completely missed the knife in the bag. The TSA on Oahu did a great job finding it.

    Moral of the story: Empty your carry on bags completely before each trip and triple check to make sure you don’t have any prohibited items in them. Then repack with confidence.

  • Pam Dunn

    I almost went through the TSA with my CCW 38 revolver in my jeans pocket; It’s ALWAYS there and I am no longer conscious of the weight; luckily, I caught it in time to go back out to the parking lot and hide it in the trunk of my car.