NYC's strict enforcement puts gun-toting fliers in jail when they check in at the airport

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2010 file photo, travelers make their way through a security checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport in New York. In 2013, 25 gun-packing out-of-towners were arrested on felony weapons charges for traveling armed at New York's busy LaGuardia and Kennedy airports. Such strict enforcement of New York's tough gun laws is intended to send a message not to bring firearms to New York in the first place, and that message may be getting through. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

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Nick Johnson, a Fordham Law School professor and an expert on gun laws, said such arrests generate how-to stories in gun magazines and websites.

"When these cases get publicized in the gun culture media, there actually are recommendations of how to travel," he said.

Last year, 1,813 firearms discovered in the carry-on bags of travelers in the U.S. were confiscated by the TSA, he said.

For Connolly, of Madison, Ala., being arrested, spending a night in jail and spending about $4,000 on plane tickets and legal fees has been beyond frustrating. He can't wait for his June court date, when he hopes to have his case sealed.

"Who puts handcuffs on a 65-year-old man for having a gun that's already locked up?" huffed Connolly, who says he grew up with guns and owns a number of them. "I don't get it."

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